Bhopal: EVM hacking Ajay Singh demands counting of VVPAT slips

Bhopal: Amidst claims by self-proclaimed ‘cyber expert’, Syed Shuja in London that EVMs were hacked in 2014, politics is on the boil in Madhya Pradesh. Former leader of Opposition Ajay Singh has demanded counting of VVPAT slips from Vindhya region to remove any doubts on EVMs.

“Claims made by an expert in London that EVMs were hacked in 2014 have augmented the already existing doubts among political parties. Results of Vindhya region in recently conducted assembly elections were quite shocking and increase doubts over EVMs,” said Singh.

The former Leader of opposition has demanded that counting of VVPAT slips should be conducted and matched with the results demonstrated by EVMs for 26 constituencies of the Vindhya region where Congress has lost. Singh lodged a formal complaint with the Election Commission on Tuesday and met CEO VL Kantha Rao. Senior Congress leader has demanded that the VVPAT slips should be counted to corroborate the results and to remove any doubts over EVMs. This is necessary in view of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he said.

Supreme Court has given a verdict that VVPAT slips should be used in EVMs to ensure free and fair elections. “VVPAT is used to maintain transparency in elections. It is clearly written in the handbook meant for returning officers that if a candidate raises objection during counting then order to count VVPAT slips could be given,” said Singh.

Another senior Congress leader Suresh Pachouri, who lost from Bhojpur constituency, too lodged a complaint through his lawyer. Even Pachouri has demanded to keep VVPAT machines of Bhojpur constituency (141) in safe custody. Pachouri had complained during counting about damaged seals of some the EVM machines. He had demanded counting of VVPAT slips then but the decision was kept on hold.

Pachouri though his counsel has asked status about his complaint and urged the Election Commission to keep the EVMs and VVPAT slips in safe custody. CEO Rao said that applications of Ajay Singh and Pachouri will be sent to the ECI for further guidance.

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