Shuja’s Claims About EVMs Sound Like Science Fiction: Kapil Sibal
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Kapil Sibal, on Tuesday, 22 January, said he attended the London EVM hackathon event in “personal capacity”, in response to the BJP’s allegation that he was there on behalf of his party.
Syed Shuja, a US-based cyber ‘expert’ who claimed he was a part of the team at Electronic Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) that designed and developed EVMs, alleged that the 2014 general elections in India were rigged. He also claimed that senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde was murdered because he knew about the tampering.
While Sibal said that it sounded like “science fiction” to him, he also called for an investigation into Shuja’s claims.
Sibal claimed that the event was not restricted to one party.
Sibal claimed that the BJP ministers were making irresponsible statements.
‘Why Was Kapil Sibal Present?’ BJP Slams Congress
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier launched an attack on the Congress, alleging that the event, on Monday, was sponsored by the party. He also raised questions about Sibal’s presence at the event.
Addressing the media, Prasad asked if the event was sponsored by the Congress to “defame the popular mandate” of India.
In a press conference in London on Monday, 21 January, a self-proclaimed Indian cyber expert claimed that electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be hacked. He alleged here that the 2014 parliamentary election was "rigged", and demanded an investigation into the allegations.
The man, identified as Syed Shuja, said he fled India in 2014 because he felt threatened in the country after the killing of some of his team members.
Prasad, on Tuesday, alleged that the event was organised by those who are “close” to the Congress party. He also claimed that Indian Journalists Association London President Ashish Ray, who was one of the organisers of the hackathon event, was known for “praising” Rahul Gandhi.
Congress Distances Itself from From London Event on EVM Hacking
The Congress, on the other hand, distanced itself from the London press conference, and demanded an investigation into the allegations.
On the BJP's charge about the involvement of the Congress in organising the event as it was attended by Sibal, Singhvi said, "Obviously, the Congress party had nothing to do with organising the press conference and does not know the principal actors and has no role to play."
He said Sibal has himself clarified that a journalist had invited him and he went, "but he was certainly not claiming to be representing the Congress party."
He said the Congress and other parties want that there should be a system in place to check 50 percent of voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT) to reassure the country on the infallibility of electronic voting machines.