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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Gaurav Gogoi asks EC to release data on EVMs found faulty

The Congress leader said he can confidently say that the machines have shown inaccurate results.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 10:05 IST

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New Delhi: Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi on Monday asked the Election Commission to put out data on how many EVMs were found faulty throughout the Lok Sabha polls.

Gogoi, who won the just concluded Lok Sabha elections from Assam's Jorhat seat by defeating his nearest BJP rival by a margin of over 1.44 lakh votes, said he can confidently say that these machines have shown inaccurate results.

Gogoi's statement came a day after a fresh political row erupted over EVM tampering claims with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders citing a media report that alleged that a relative of the Shiv Sena candidate in Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency was found using a mobile phone "connected" to an electronic voting machine during the counting of votes on June 4.

In a post on 'X', Gogoi said before treating the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as infallible, the Election Commission of India should put out data on how many EVMs were found faulty throughout the elections.

He said the ECI should answer how many machines showed the wrong time, date, votes registered during the general elections and how many EVMs had their components replaced - counting unit, ballot unit and how many EVMs were found faulty during the mock poll.

"Having contested the elections, I can confidently say that these machines have shown inaccurate results. I hope the Election Commission puts out the above data because the public have the right to know," he said.

Returning officer of the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency, Vandana Suryavanshi, has dismissed the report in Mid-Day newspaper as "false news" and said that a defamation notice has been issued to the publication.

She asserted the EVM is a standalone system, not programmable and has no wireless communication capabilities.

Questioning the reliability of EVMs, Gandhi and other leaders had on Sunday also quoted a post by Elon Musk, chairman of social media platform X and CEO of Tesla, in which he talked about eliminating the EVMs and claimed the risk of hacking was "too high".

"We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high," Musk said while responding to a a post by US politician Robert F Kennedy Jr alleging Puerto Rico's primary elections experienced "hundreds of voting irregularities related to electronic voting machines".

Gandhi wrote on 'X' that EVMs in India are a 'black box' and nobody is allowed to scrutinise them. He said that serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process.

"Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability," Gandhi said in a post and tagged the media report which claimed that a relative of Shiv Sena's candidate Ravindra Waikar, who won the polls from Mumbai's North-West seat by 48 votes, had a phone that unlocks an EVM.

However, former Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP countered Musk's criticism of the EVMs and said that the billionaire businessman's view may apply to the US and other places where they use regular compute platforms to build "Internet-connected voting machines".

"But Indian EVMs are custom designed, secure and isolated from any network or media - No connectivity, no Bluetooth, wifi, Internet. ie there is no way in. Factory-programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed," Chandrasekhar said in a post on X.

"Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We would be happy to run a tutorial Elon," the BJP leader added.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 results | Check all constituency results here

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Andhra Pradesh Assembly poll 2024 results | Check constituency results here

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Published 17 June 2024, 10:05 IST

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