Musk's claim on EVM hack, black box for Rahul Gandhi, know the important things related to this issue in 10 points

Ananya Shroff
9 Min Read

New Delhi: 12 days after the Lok Sabha election results, the debate on the credibility of EVMs has started once again. First, Tesla owner Elon Musk talked about removing it. After this, Rahul Gandhi, in his ex-post, citing the news of Mid Day, called it a black box. After Rahul's ex-post, BJP also became active. Former Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar and BJP spokesperson Shahzad Poonawala reprimanded both Elon Musk and Rahul Gandhi. Rajiv Chandrashekhar also challenged Musk to come to India and show a demo of EVM hacking. Amidst the debate, at night, the election officer responded to both the opposition and Musk on the allegation of hacking of electronic voting machines in Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat. Let us understand the whole matter in 10 points, what happened on the issue of EVM hacking in the last 24 hours.What did Mid-Day claim?
A Mid-Day report claimed that Mangesh Pandilkar, Ravindra Waikar's brother-in-law, used a mobile phone to “unlock” EVMs during vote counting, allegations that were rejected by election officer Vandana Suryavanshi and the Mumbai police. Mangesh Pandilkar and a polling officer Dinesh Gurav have been booked by the Vanrai police under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for violating the Election Commission's ban on mobile phones inside counting centres.

Understand the whole thing in 10 points
1. Rahul Gandhi Sharing a clipping of Mid Day newspaper from his X handle, he called EVM a 'black box'. He said that serious concerns are being raised about the transparency in the country's electoral process. He said that EVM in India is a 'black box' and no one is allowed to check it. Serious concerns are being raised about the transparency in our electoral process. When there is a lack of accountability in institutions, democracy becomes a sham and becomes a victim of fraud.

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2. Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan He said that the election result of Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat should be stayed. He demanded that the Election Commission call a meeting of all parties and discuss the issue in detail. He said that unauthorized use of mobile phones should also be investigated. Prithviraj Chavan said that the FIR report has not been made public.

3. NCP (Sharad faction) spokesperson Clyde Crasto He said that Ravindra Waikar's relative having access to the mobile phone of the Election Commission official is a matter of concern. Crasto said that the Election Commission's polling officer has said that the OTP is needed only for data entry in the counting process, which means that by generating this OTP, Waikar's relatives can also access the data and they or their team can manipulate it. This is very serious. The Election Commission should clarify what happened when the phone was with Waikar's team.

4. Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray He said that the Election Commission does not have the courage to release the CCTV camera footage related to the seat. He said that we have always suspected that this government has tampered with EVMs. Even Elon Musk has expressed his views and claimed that everything can be hacked. Despite requests several times, the Election Commission does not have the courage to release the CCTV footage of the counting day, which would support our claims.

5. Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi He wrote that why did it take ten days to file an FIR? Mumbai police has not denied this story yet? Why is the CCTV footage not being shared with the police or the candidates who asked for it? Why was the EC data entry operator's phone found with a candidate's relative? Madam RO herself has said that OTP came on that phone for making entries in the Encore portal (EC data portal).

6. Kapil Sibal, Rajya Sabha MP Refused to comment on EVMs. He said that this is a big issue. Sibal took a dig at the Supreme Court's decision on EVMs. He said that when the Supreme Court of India said that we should trust our machines, we should trust the Election Commission of India, if the Supreme Court itself is trusting them, then why should I comment on them? If we start trusting the government and machines, then all the work should be done by machines. Then what are the courts for? If we start trusting the government, then what is the use of giving a decision? This is a big issue, I will comment on it later.

7. Congress ally and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav Akhilesh Yadav also questioned the credibility of EVMs and demanded that all future elections be conducted using ballot papers. He said, 'Technology is meant to solve problems, if it creates problems then its use should be stopped. Today, when fears of EVM tampering are being expressed in many elections of the world and renowned technology experts of the world are openly writing about the danger of EVM tampering, then the BJP should clarify what is the reason behind insisting on the use of EVMs. Akhilesh Yadav posted that we reiterate our demand that all future elections should be conducted using ballot papers.

8. Meanwhile, Billionaire Entrepreneur Elon Musk Called for the abolition of EVMs. In a recent post on X, Elon Musk said,
'We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of them being hacked by humans or AI, though small, is still huge.'

9. Former Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Elon Musk's criticism of EVMs has been strongly opposed by Rajiv Chandrasekhar. Rajiv Chandrasekhar said that this is a very broad generalization. The Tesla chief responded that anything can be hacked. Chandrasekhar, a former Minister of State for Electronics and IT, argued that this means that no one can create secure digital hardware. This is wrong. He further said that such an approach can be applied in the US and elsewhere – where they use regular computation platforms to create internet-connected voting machines. Indian EVMs are secure and isolated from any network.

10. BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala He said Rahul Gandhi, who is talking about black boxes, wants to hide his black deeds and so he wants to use half-truths to spread his lies and fraud. He said, “To hide the black deeds of Karnataka, where the price of diesel and petrol has been increased, he is using a fake story and spreading half truth and complete lie. Rahul Gandhi has pushed a story that says OTP is required to unlock EVMs. Many others in his ecosystem have also said so. The Election Commission has come out and clarified that no OTP is required to 'unlock', EVMs are stand-alone machines. They are like calculators. There is no network connectivity, so there is no question of it being hacked.

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