NCP opts out of EVM challenge at last min, says EC responsible

NCP opts out of EVM challenge at last min, says EC responsible

NCP opts out of EVM challenge at last min, says EC responsible

The NCP, which backed out of the Election Commission's EVM hacking challenge today, put the blame squarely on the poll panel for its non-participation.

The party said, it opted out because the EC did not provide "required information" on voting machines and "changed the protocol" of the exercise at the last minute.

A three-member NCP delegation led by party's Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan also said the commission did not give the team an option to pick the EVM of their choice.

Chavan said the party was not provided with the information they asked for "again and again" i.e. the number of the memory unit and the battery used in the EVMs. "We feel they were crucial for the exercise," she said.

The party also said the poll panel had asked it to choose any four EVMs from the states which had gone to polls recently, and the understanding was that it would choose one of them.

However, the EC today informed it will provide them with one of the 14 EVMs now in their custody, Vandana added. "We were under the impression that the EVM challenge would give us an opportunity for an academic exercise to satisfy our queries. However, not providing us with the required information and change in the protocol for the choice of the EVMs have created an unfair situation," the party said in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.

The party has also sought information on the companies who service the EVMs, names of the transport companies engaged by the EC, state election commissions, state governments at various stages of transportation of EVMs.

"Who are the people who write the codes for each Assembly/Parliament segment? Election Commission provides a technical team for each of the polling booths on the polling day – do they belong to EIL/ECIL or are they private individuals?

"What is the guarantee of their integrity? Is there an Audit Protocol in respect of the security and the functioning of the EVMs?" the letter added.