Election Commission has no favourites, will give political parties chance to prove EVM tampering: CEC Nasim Zaidi

During the all party meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that the poll panel maintain equidistance from all parties

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on Friday threw an open challenge to all political parties to prove that the electronic voting machines (EVM) used in the recent elections could have been tampered with. “EC will offer political parties a chance to prove that EVMs used in recent polls were tampered with,” Nasim Zaidi said during the all-party meet on Friday.

“Election Commission has no favourites. We maintain equidistance from all parties,” Zaidi said. The CEC made the statement at the all-party meeting convened by the Election Commission to brief on the reliability of the EVMs.

All the seven national and 35 of the 48 state recognised political parties attended the meeting. During the meeting, there was a debate over the definition of ‘hacking’. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claimed that its proposal of holding a ‘hackathon’ has been “rejected” by the Commission. The party has been leading the charge against the poll panel and claiming that the EVMs used in the recent elections were tampered with.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is among the AAP representatives in the meeting, tweeted that the EC “refused to carry out a hackathon”.

The AAP had recently shown how EVMs can be ‘hacked’ during the special session of Delhi Assembly. However, the Commission had trashed the AAP’s claim, saying that the machine that was shown in the Assembly was just a look-alike and not the EVM used by them.

Several parties have sought permission to access the EVMs that were used in the recently conducted elections in Uttar Pradesh. 16 opposition parties had suggested to the poll panel that it should revert to the paper ballot system.