In a (rather expected?) turn of events, no political party has yet registered for Election Commission’s EVM challenge, deadline for which expires on May 26, 5 pm.
It’s been five days since EC invited the recognised political parties to an ‘EVM Challenge’ beginning June 3, allowing the parties to demonstrate that the machine can be, or were, tampered with during the five recent Assembly polls.
Madhusudhan Gupta, Under Secretary of ECI, confirmed to ScoopWhoop News that until Wednesday evening, no party had come forward for the challenge.
“We check our mails everyday at around 7 pm and to our surprise, nobody had registered till yesterday. We are still going to wait till tomorrow [May 26],” he told ScoopWhoop News.
When asked about the reason why parties were not coming forward, Gupta simply said it was upto the political parties to make a decision about it and they can’t force anyone.
“Many a times, nominations pour in at the last moment. So hopefully, a few registrations may happen. We can’t say anything. It’s an open challenge and we are ready.”
Why the EVM challenge?
In response to allegations by some few political parties that EVM machines were tampered with during the recently held General Assembly Elections of five states, the ECI in a press release threw an open challenge on May 20, inviting political parties to test the machines.
The challenge is open to only national and state-recognised political parties which contested assembly polls in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab.
The nominees, however, will not be allowed to change the motherboard of EVMs or take the machines home to prove later that they can be tampered with.
Previously, the AAP, along with other parties raised concerns over EVM machines being meddled with during elections and called it the major reason behind their defeat in the recent State assembly and civic polls. BSP’s Mayawati had in fact started it by crediting BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh to EVMs.
Parties singing a different tune now?
AAP on Wednesday urged the commission to reconsider the terms set for the coming challenge, saying it should allow the event to be an open “hackathon” where tampering of any kind can be demonstrated.
According to PTI, an AAP delegation told the Commission that it would be “worrying” if the event disallows tampering of EVMs.
“We would like to strongly urge you to reconsider the terms of the EVM challenge. Please do not set any such rules and regulations and allow it to be an open hackathon where tampering of any kind can be demonstrated on the machine,” AAP’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta said in a letter to chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi.
Gupta also alleged that the tampering with the motherboards was the reason behind Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) wins in the recent assembly and civic body polls.
(Feature image source: PTI)