Politics

Gujarat Elections: Congress candidate complains of EVM hacking, EC investigates

09 Dec 2017 | By Krunali Shah
Gujarat Elections: EVM hacking allegations, investigation and more!

Voting in Gujarat elections was mired in controversy as malfunctioning of EVMs was reported in certain areas. Congress candidate from Porbandar, Arjun Modhwadia filed a complaint with the EC that the EVM in his constituency was connected by Bluetooth.

However, after investigation, Gujarat's chief electoral officer BB Swain stated that no such anomaly was observed and it was a misunderstanding. Here's more!

In context: Gujarat Elections: EVM hacking allegations, investigation and more!

09 Dec 2017Gujarat Elections: Congress candidate complains of EVM hacking, EC investigates

ComplaintWhat was Arjun Modhwalia's complaint?

Modhwalia complained of possible EVM tampering at three polling booths in a Muslim-dominated area, Memanwada. He alleged that the EVMs were connected to external devices through Bluetooth.

He said "When the Bluetooth of a mobile phone is turned on, a device named 'ECO 105' is shown as available." He said this suggests that EVMs are programmable using Bluetooth, raising the possibility of tampering.

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What was revealed in the EC's investigation?

RebuttalWhat was revealed in the EC's investigation?

The EC took the complaint very seriously. The district collector, returning officer and experts reached the site.

It was revealed that BSP's Manoj Singrakhiya was carrying an Intex brand mobile phone with the model name ECO105.

Funnily, just because the initials of the model name was EC, Modhwalia was apparently "confused" and filed the complaint. However, the matter was disposed after checking with experts.

Meanwhile, complaints of EVMs malfunctioning poured in from elsewhere also

Meanwhile, the poll panel received complaints about EVM malfunctioning in Kosamba (Valsad), Rajkot East constituency and Bhavnagar among others. Congress leader Ahmed Patel tweeted that "There are reports of EVM malfunctioning in several polling stations. Request the Election Commission to take necessary action immediately."

SafeguardsEC had undertaken elaborate safeguards for using VVPATs and EVMs

In Gujarat, 71,000 VVPATs were deployed. Moreover, before the elections, EC undertook elaborate safeguards to prevent mishandling of EVMs and VVPATs. They had checked the machines in the presence of candidates and party representatives, conducted mock polls and followed all storage norms.

However, despite allegations of EVM tampering after all these preparations, Gujaratis voted in full force with voter turnout being 70% until 5pm.