Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday rejected claims of EVM hacking in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Claims were made at a press conference in London by a self-proclaimed cyber expert. Jaitley termed it "absolutely rubbish" and a "big lie" and attacked the Congress for demanding a probe into the issue.
In a series of tweets Jaitley, who is in the US, said Congress should not feel that people are so gullible that they will swallow any garbage.
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"After Rafale, the non-existent loan waiver to 15 industrialists - the next big lie - EVM (electronic voting machine) hacking.
"Was the Election Commission & millions of staffers involved in manufacturing, programming of EVMs & conduct of elections during the UPA Government in collusion with the BJP - absolutely rubbish.
"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," he said.
The Congress on Monday said Election Commission of India (ECI) should probe claims by a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were "rigged" and said the probe panel should go for 50 per cent check of polling through VVPATs.
Shuja had also claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was "killed" as he knew about the "hacking."
He also claimed, "if his people had not intercepted the BJP's attempts to hack the transmissions during this year's assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, they would have won those states as well."
However, the ECI said that it firmly stands by fool-proof nature of EVMS.
“It has come to the notice of Election Commission of India that an event claiming to demonstrate EVMs used by ECI can be tampered with, has been organised in London. Whereas ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest, ECI firmly stands by the empirical facts about the foolproof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India,” ECI said.
“It needs to be reiterated that these EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under very strict supervisory and security conditions and there are rigorous Standard Operating Procedures meticulously observed at all stages under the supervision of a Committee of eminent technical experts constituted way back in 2010,” it added.
It is being separately examined as to what legal action can and should be taken in the matter, Election Commission stressed.
It is pertinent to mention here that all these developments have come at a time when Lok Sabha elections 2019 is just a few months away.
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(With IANS inputs)