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Rahul Gandhi and Elon Musk ignite EVM security debate, allegations of fraud surface in Mumbai election

Rahul Gandhi and Elon Musk ignite EVM security debate, allegations of fraud surface in Mumbai election

Rahul Gandhi has voiced concerns about the security and transparency of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India, following Elon Musk's call to eliminate them due to hacking risks. The debate has intensified with allegations of malpractice in the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat.

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Rahul Gandhi Questions EVM Security Amidst Recent Controversies Rahul Gandhi Questions EVM Security Amidst Recent Controversies

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has entered the debate on the security of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India, labeling them a "black box" and raising serious concerns about the transparency of the electoral process. This follows tech billionaire Elon Musk's recent call to eliminate EVMs due to hacking risks.

 

Gandhi, citing a news report about the contentious result of the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat, posted on X, "EVMs in India are a 'black box,' and nobody is allowed to scrutinize them. Serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process." He further warned that "Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability."

 

The controversy intensified when it was revealed that Mangesh Pandilkar, the brother-in-law of the winning candidate Ravindra Waikar, was booked for allegedly using a mobile phone at a counting center. The phone was reportedly used to generate an OTP necessary to unlock the EVM machine at the NESCO Centre, with the police sending it for forensic analysis.

 

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi expressed outrage, accusing the Election Commission of India (ECI) of negligence. She asserted, "This is a fraud at the highest level and yet the @ECISVEEP continues to sleep… If ECI doesn’t step in this will be the biggest election result scam after Chandigarh Mayor election and will see this battle in the courts."

 

Sena UBT leader Aditya Thackeray also criticized the ECI for refusing to share CCTV footage of the counting center, suggesting an attempt to avoid scrutiny.

 

Meanwhile, Elon Musk fueled the debate by suggesting that EVMs pose a significant hacking risk, stating, “We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.”

 

In response, BJP leader and former Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar defended the security of Indian EVMs, explaining that they are custom-designed, secure, and isolated from any network or media, thereby preventing connectivity through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or the internet. Chandrasekhar even offered Musk a tutorial on building secure EVMs, to which Musk reiterated his concerns, asserting, "Anything can be hacked."

Edited By: Krishna Medhi
Published On: Jun 16, 2024