Various politicians alleging about EVM hacking during every election has become a routine part of elections in India now. Before elections, generally the opposition parties express doubt that EVMs may be hacked by the ruling party, and after results are declared some losing parties allege the same. Taking advantage of this paranoia of EVM hacking that some politicians have, some thugs have found it to be a golden opportunity to make money by cheating such politicians.
Such an incidence has come to light after the arrest of a person in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh on the complaint of a Congress candidate in the assembly elections. According to reports, one Abhay Joshi had approached Ramesh Dubey, Congress candidate from Bhind, offering to ‘hack’ the EVMs in Dubey’s favour. He had proposed a deal of ₹2.5 lakh per EVM unit for tampering. Joshi had claimed that he is a software engineer from Delhi, and he can hack EVMs with some circuit, and can change the votes stored in the machines.
Dubey said, “person named Ajay Singh called me from Delhi saying that he had read about EVM rows in Bhind and have a team of engineers who secure the machines remotely. I knew there was something fishy. When I asked him for details, he said I will get a call from an engineer.” After that, Dubey decided to meet Joshi to find the truth. “During our meeting he said EVMs can be hacked with some circuits besides changing votes in his favour. He showed me some circuits on his phone,” Dubey told media, saying that the deal was ₹2.5 lakh per EVM.
After this, Dubey tipped police about the incident and the ‘EVM hacker’ was arrested from Gwalior railway station on Wednesday.
After his arrest, more Congress leader came up with stories of how Joshi duped them also. But they were promised tickets from the party by Joshi, not EVM hacking. Two Congress leaders, Kashiram Dehelwar and Bhikam Singh Gurjar, said that Joshi had demanded money from them promising party tickets before the elections. He pretended to be a surveyor from Rahul Gandhi’s office, and took ₹10,000 from Kashiram Dehelwar in the name of membership fee of Congress IT cell. After taking the ‘membership fee’, Joshi called Dahelwar and demanded ₹ 5 lakhs from him after his name appears in the list of candidates. Similarly, Bhikam Singh had also paid him ₹10,000. Later Joshi called them asking for ₹50,000 as an advance for party tickets, but they decided not to pay and wait till the final candidate list is announced. When their names were not on the list, they called him asking to return the money, but he did not pay and gave some excuses.
When Joshi’s photo was published in today’s papers after his arrest in Gwalior yesterday for his hacking claim, the two Congress leaders identified him as the same person that cheated them and lodged a complaint against him with police station.
Investigators believe that Joshi had approached several candidates from various political parties offering his ‘services’ in the last two months. His call detail record is being examined. Abhay Joshi is actually from Jalon in UP and he currently lives in Ujjain, not Delhi. Gwalior SP Navneet Bhasin said that there are multiple cases registered against him at various police stations.