Ahead of the counting of votes in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections which were overshadowed by the Congress and others questioning the EVMs, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) AK Joti today sought to assure the politicians and the voters by claiming the voting machines cannot be tampered with.
“I assure you that there can be no tampering with the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines),” Joti told news agency ANI moments before the process of counting of votes began at 37 centres in Gujarat and 42 in Himachal Pradesh.
“Questions being raised about the EVMs have already been answered by us in the media. VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) were there in every polling stations in Gujarat, which enabled voters to see whom they voted for. So, issues being raised are not right,” Joti added.
Following the exit poll results shown by India Today and other news channels, which predicted a majority to the ruling BJP, several Opposition leaders, including those from the Congress, Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, had raised fears of a possible hacking of the EVMs.
Hardik Patel on Sunday said on Twitter that if a human body, made by god, could be tampered with, then why not an EVM, which is made by humans? “If ATMs can be hacked, why not an EVM!!! (sic),” he asked.
Patel also alleged that there had been attempts to hack EVMs using its “source code” in the Patidar-dominated and tribal areas of the state. He had also claimed in an earlier tweet that 150 software engineers of an Ahmedabad-based company were preparing to hack 5,000 EVMs.
On Friday, the Supreme Court had declined to entertain a plea by the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee seeking directions to the Election Commission to count votes through paper trail attached to the EVMs in 20 per cent of the polling booths in Gujarat.