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Assembly elections 2017: EVM bashing should stop, they cannot be tampered with, say former CECs

Hardik Patel had earlier said that 140 engineers were hired by a company to hack 5000 EVMs.

Pic courtesy: Reuters

New Delhi: A host of former chief election commissioners said on Monday that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) cannot be tampered with.

"I firmly believe that our EVMs, VVPATs cannot be tampered with. This matter should be closed once and for all as it is tried and tested. EVM is a standalone machine, question of hacking doesn't arise" said former CEC, HS Brahma.

Another former CEC echoed the same sentiments, "EVMs cannot be tampered with, even in the future. I am very clear about this. During my time, BJP had raised doubts on EVM so we had also held a demonstration like earlier this year for all to come and try rig it."

"EVMs are stand alone machines, aren't connected to any network, can't be influenced over Bluetooth or wireless message,so to say EVMs have something wrong is absolutely incorrect. It's only a glorified calculator, moment you open it, it goes dead," maintained N Gopalaswami, another former CEC.

On the other hand, TS Krishnamurthy, former CEC said on Monday that EVMs were the "real winner" in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections.

When asked over the remarks in some quarters that the EVMs are the "real winner", as results of the two Assembly elections are being declared, he said, "I agree."

"They (EVMs) have done their job well. After all, the Congress has increased its position (in Gujarat compared to the last elections). Some leaders of the BJP have been defeated. EVMs have served the purpose", Krishnamurthy told PTI.

On being asked whether EVM "bashing" should stop now, he said, "it should."

"If they (critics of EVMs) have anything to say, let them go to the court and prove it. There is no point talking about (criticising EVMs) in every election," he said.

Apprehensions about possible EVM tampering through bluetooth technology was raised by the Opposition Congress during the Assembly elections in Gujarat, which the EC had termed "baseless".

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel had earlier said that 140 engineers were hired by a company to hack 5000 EVMs.

"A company in Ahmedabad has prepared to hack the source code of 5000 EVMs through 140 engineers," Patel had alleged in a tweet on Saturday night.

Patel had also questioned Supreme Court`s decision to reject Congress` plea, seeking cross-verification of Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails with votes cast with Electronic Voting Machines and asked why they were used in the Gujarat elections.

On December 15, the apex court had said that it found no merit in Congress' plea and had asked that the Gujarat Congress could approach it through filing a writ petition for electoral reforms.

It had further maintained that electoral process in a democracy was of utmost importance and the SC cannot interfere only to allay apprehension of a party.

(With Agency inputs)