AAP protests outside Election Commission over 'EVM tampering'

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday rejected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claims that electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be tampered with and said that the machine used for demonstration in the Delhi Assembly was only a "prototype" of an EVM.

Conducting a mock poll on an EVM machine, AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj demonstrated how despite giving two votes each to various parties; the final count showed that votes of some parties had been transferred to one party.

"(EVM tampering) is risky for democracy and the country.

He said the entire game was about a secret code, which once entered into the machine transfers all the votes to that one party which is supposed to win.

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The AAP on Thursday also fielded Bharadwaj at a press conference during which he made a demand that the Election Commission should form a committee of representatives of parties and officials of the poll panel.

However, sources said the machine "did not" seem to be among the ones that are used during elections.

RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said by harping on the infallibility of EVMs, the EC was acting as the custodian of just the "instruments" and not the process as a whole.

With a dummy EVM, Saurabh had claimed in the Delhi Assembly that it was very easy to tamper any EVM. "The votes are marked for a particular party via set codes, while in case of the tampering, the codes are manipulated with a particular party's code". It said the demonstration on a "look-alike" EVM can not be used to "vilify" those actually used for elections.

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The Election Commission, on the other hand, reiterated that the EVMs used by it were tamperproof. "If not, then it proves our point (that voting machines were being tampered with)", Bharadwaj said.

"They informed the Election Commission that they received only Rs 6 crore donation in 2013-14", he alleged. VVPATs or Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail is a printed slip which tells voters which party and candidate they have voted for. On April 11, as many as 16 Opposition parties had written to the polling monitor alleging that the tampering of EVMs had created a "deep-seated trust deficit" on their reliability.

Sacked Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra shows copies of his complaint alleging irregularities in the AAP prior to approaching the CBI. The Election Commission, during the meeting with 42 political parties on the issue of EVM hacking, reportedly said no such term as Hackathon exists. The AAP also invited leaders of other opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal United to the Delhi Assembly, where they watched the demonstration from the visitors' gallery.

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