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Can EVMs be unlocked using mobile phones? Election Commission’s press conference on EVM hacking allegations

Ritul Pandey

By Ritul Pandey

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Election Commission’s press conference on EVM hacking allegations

The issue of EVM is heating up once again in the politics of Maharashtra and the country. Tesla company owner Elon Musk has tweeted about EVM machines on the political developments in America. EVMs can be hacked. So Elon Musk appealed to stop EVMs in his tweet. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi retweeted his tweet and targeted EVMs. Now the Election Commission has put forth its stand on this issue by holding a press conference. “EVM does not open on OTP. EVMs cannot be hacked”, the election officer said. This time we have lodged a police complaint in this matter”, the election officer said.

“As the election returning officer, I had given a letter to the police on 5 June itself. An appeal was made to take cognizance of the incident and take further action. After this, on the 11th, I received a letter from the police asking me to officially register an FIR on my behalf. We did that. The FIR was registered on the 13th. The mobile was used by an unauthorized person. Therefore, action will be taken against them”, the election officer said.

‘Complaint filed against that man’

“The OTP is used to login. The password is required for data entry. This has nothing to do with EVMs. The mobile phone of our data operator was found somewhere else and that is the reason for the confusion. We have sacked the concerned employee. He did not want to hand over the mobile phone. The use of the mobile was unauthorised. A complaint has been lodged against the person. “It has nothing to do with counting of votes,” said Election Commission officials.

What actually happened on the counting day?

“ENCODE is an online system which is a login for data entry. The OTP comes to our assistant electoral officer. They login and then the website is available to us for data entry. Data entry and counting of votes are very different things. We checked our tables thrice. So we announced our decision,” the Election Commission official said.

“In the EVM counting, Amol Kirtikar was leading by one vote. It was the 26th round. Between the 25th and 26th round, I declared the postal ballot result. Waikar was leading by 49 votes. Kirtikar and Waikar did not raise any objection at that time. Neither did any counting agent raise any objection then. During the counting on the 27th, no one demanded a recount. What happened was re-verified. Rejected ballot papers were re-verified,” he revealed.

What is the matter after all?

Mangesh Pandilkar, a relative of Shiv Sena Shinde candidate Ravindra Waikar, was seen using a mobile phone at the polling booth on June 4, the day of counting of Lok Sabha votes. Surinder Mohan Arora of Bharat Jan Aadhar Party requested to register an FIR in this regard. After the information given by Arora, the police seized Mangesh Pandilkar’s phone. However, the police said that no call, data record, CDR, SDR was found in the mobile phone.

On the day of counting of votes, it was initially said that Amol Kirtikar of Thackeray faction had won. Then his agent’s team said that more than 650 clues were found. Later, the EVM votes showed a difference of one vote. Since the difference of victory and defeat was just one vote, a demand was made for recounting of votes. In the recount, Waikar won by 48 votes. Kirtikar is preparing to challenge Waikar’s victory in the court.

Meanwhile, Bharat Shah, a candidate from North West Lok Sabha constituency, has filed a complaint against Mangesh Pandilkar. Pandilkar was accused of using a mobile phone at the counting venue. Complainant Bharat Shah replied to the police that Ravindra Waikar’s relatives had used the phone to open the lock of the EVM.

Ritul Pandey

Ritul Pandey

I am Ritul Pandey, a content creator focused on delivering entertaining and engaging news from the worlds of entertainment and sports

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