Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has raised questions about the credibility of EVMs
Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has for the second time questioned the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs by drawing a comparison to a chip-like device used for stealing petrol. The device was found by the state police during an investigation. "When petrol can be stolen with the help of a remote through a chip without any internet connection then EVMs too (can be tampered with)," Mr Yadav claimed in a tweet.
The Samajwadi Party president's remarks came two days after the Special Task Force or STF in Lucknow raided several petrol pumps and found them using a chip-board like device inside the dispensing machines for petrol theft.
Apart from Mr Yadav, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati have also questioned the credibility of EVMs.
Earlier this month Akhilesh Yadav had claimed that EVMs cannot be relied upon and demanded that all future elections are conducted through ballot papers. "When will EVMs develop a snag no one can tell... the machines cannot be relied upon. We do not have faith in EVMs," he had said.
Demanding the use of ballot papers, Mr Yadav had said, "We have 100 per cent faith in our ballot papers and it is our demand that future elections are held using them."
The Election Commission, however, has reiterated that EVMs can not be tampered with. To assure those who have doubts, the Election Commission has announced that at the start of May, it will hold a hackathon where non-believers can attempt to rig the machines. Before that, the Commission will meet with leaders of all major parties to conduct a demo and illustrate that the machines cannot be reconfigured to suit political parties. Dates for both events have not yet been confirmed. Sources said that hackers will be asked to visit the Commission's office in Delhi over 10 days and try their luck.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has claimed that it will take him less than 24 hours to prove that EVMs can be gamed.
On April 15, Akhilesh Yadav had demanded an answer from the Election Commission over the controversy on alleged tampering of EVMs.