EVMs in India are 'black box', says Rahul Gandhi after Elon Musk raises concern over hacking risk

Rahul Gandhi and Elon Musk. Photo: PTI, Reuters

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said EVMs in India are a "black box" which nobody is allowed to scrutinise, and asserted that "serious concerns" are being raised about transparency in India's electoral process. He made the remark after tech giant Elon Musk raised concern over the chances of hacking EVMs.

"Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability," Gandhi said and tagged a media report which claimed that a relative of Shiv Sena's candidate, who won the polls from Mumbai's north west by 48 votes, had a phone that unlocks an EVM.

The former Congress president also tagged the post on X by Elon Musk in which he talked about eliminating EVMs.
"We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high," Musk had said in his post.

The opposition parties have been raising concerns over EVMs for some time now and had demanded a 100 per cent count of the VVPAT slips which was not allowed.

Meanwhile, former Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar rubbished Elon Musk’s take on eliminating electronic voting machines (EVMs) from voting is a “huge sweeping generalisation” which holds no truth, inviting the Tesla CEO to come and learn some lessons in India. Responding to the tech billionaire’s post on X, which alleged that electronic voting machines should be eliminated as the “risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high,” Chandrasekhar said this is not the case at all.

According to Chandrasekhar, Musk’s view may apply to the US and other places where they use regular computing platforms to build “Internet-connected Voting machines.” Musk had reacted to Puerto Rico’s primary elections which allegedly experienced voting irregularities. Chandrasekhar further rejected Musk’s statement, saying that Indian EVMs are custom-designed, secure and isolated from any network or media. “No connectivity, no bluetooth, wifi, Internet; there is no way in. Factory-programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed,” informed the former minister. 
(With PTI/ IANS inputs)

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