An alleged ‘EVM expert’, Syed Shuja, while addressing a press conference in London via Skype, who is alleged to have designed the EVMs used in India, claimed that the EVMs are susceptible to hacking. The self-proclaimed ‘EVM expert’ made a series of outlandish claims of rigged elections in India along with Gopinath Munde’s death being a murder.
The alleged hacker claimed that the elections in 2014, UP and Gujarat elections were rigged and the favourable result was achieved by hacking the EVMs while the MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan election were rescued from the menace of EVM tampering.
The so-called EVM expert was physically not present at the demonstration. He addressed the event via Skype, and his face was mostly covered during the video conference.
The hackathon event saw participation from Congress and their representative Kapil Sibal was there at the event to watch over the proceedings. The hacker also appeared to side with the Congress as he claimed that the elections in which BJP won were rigged while in those elections in which BJP lost were not rigged. The hacker often resorted to evasive answers and paranoia when protruding questions were asked of him to corroborate his claims. Let’s examine some of his outlandish assertions:-
EVMs can communicate with each other and we interfered in the Delhi elections in 2015 and the result favoured the AAP
The hacker claimed that contrary to what the Election Commission says, the EVMs can be made to communicate with each other. He added that his team has devised a modulator which works on the military frequency that enables communication. He alleged that BJP IT cell transmits on this frequency to hack the EVMs. The expert further claimed that the BJP was pinging the EVMs to manipulate the EVM result during the Delhi elections in 2015. However, his team intercepted the transmission initiated by the BJP IT. “We changed the frequency to favour AAP. The actual results were similar to 2009,” he claimed.
But the fact is that electronic devices that can communicate with each other need elaborate hardware and software to that. Devices without networking capabilities cannot communicate. The Election Commission of India had already stated that no two EVMs can be made to communicate with each other, nor any external communication can be established with the EVMs. The EC has today rubbished the claims made by the alleged hacker in their official response. The EC has reiterated what it said months back that the EVMs are manufactured under highly secure environment and it is impossible to hack them. The EC has also stated that they are currently exploring how legal action can be initiated against the malicious propaganda pervaded by the hackathon
Election Commission of India issues a statement on EVM presser in London pic.twitter.com/BhJ0qYet2P
— Nistula Hebbar (@nistula) January 21, 2019
2014 General elections, UP and Gujarat elections were rigged while MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan were not
The ‘EVM Expert’ claims that there were tamperings with the EVMs during the 2014 general elections and the subsequent assembly elections in UP and Gujarat which resulted in BJP victory. The hacker cooked up a story that his erstwhile team members were killed during these elections because they had figured out that the elections were rigged. But the hacker fails to divulge details about the killings, FIR registered and the location of their killings.
In addition, he claimed that during the recent assembly elections in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, his team had received a signal indicating the occurrence of EVM tamperings. However, he fails to substantiate it with proof. He instead evades the leading questions claiming his team would be in danger if he reveals the details of it. By admitting that his team was meddling in the recent elections, he effectively alludes that MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan elections were indeed rigged. However, again no hard evidence was presented to back his claim.
Gopinath Munde was murdered because he knew the EVMs were hacked
Another astonishing claim made by the hacker was regarding Gopinath Munde’s death. The hacker claimed that Gopinath Munde was murdered because he had come to know about the tamperings with the EVMs.
This is a ridiculous contention since Gopinath Munde died in an unfortunate accident. If Gopinath Munde was indeed murdered, why was the evidence revealing his murder withheld by the hacker? What was he waiting for? Why suddenly wake up from the slumber now when the elections are just months away? In fact, the hacker after making this sensational claim didn’t care to back it with evidence. This outrageous claim clearly gives away that the hackathon was nothing but a politically motivated event.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Twitter to slam Congress for supporting a baseless story of EVM hacking. He alleged that the Country is not gullible to ‘swallow the garbage’ of EVM hackathon.
Does the Congress feel that the people are so gullible that they will swallow any garbage?
Insanity in the Congress party is increasingly becoming contagious
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) January 21, 2019
There are multiple discrepancies in the hacker claims, leading one to believe that either he is suffering from cognitive dissonance or his claims are politically motivated. The tall assertions made by him were not only contradictory in nature but they were also essentially self-defeating and were not corroborated by evidence.
The live demonstration of EVM hacking by co-opting a hacker was nothing but a sham, allegedly sponsored by the Congress party to cast aspersions on the Election Commission and disparage Modi’s popularity among the masses. It may well be a part of Cambridge Analytica to exert influence on the voters.