‘Hacking charge a plot to defame polls, EC’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2019 Published on January 22, 2019

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad   -  AP

Ravi Shankar questions Sibal’s role; says Rahul trying to find excuse for 2014 loss

The ruling BJP on Tuesday said the Congress has hatched a conspiracy to “defame Indian democracy and the Election Commission” by sponsoring “dubious” allegations relating to the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the 2014 polls.

A day after Syed Shuja, a self-proclaimed cyber expert, alleged at a press event in London that the BJP had won the elections by hacking into the EVMs, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Indian Journalists’ Association, which had organised the event, is headed by Ashis Ray, who is a “committed Congressman” and has been publicly supporting Congress President Rahul

Targeting the Congress, Prasad questioned the presence of Kapil Sibal at the event.

“What was he doing there? My charge is that he was there to monitor the event for the Congress. It was a Congress-sponsored conspiracy to defame Indian democracy and the EC,” Prasad said.

‘No proof offered’

The BJP leader also dismissed Sibal’s claim that he was present in his personal capacity, saying he was intelligent enough to know the implications of his presence.

Ridiculing the London event as a “circus and political stunt”, the Minister said: “He (Shuja) offered no proof. Nor did he present himself for questioning by the media. No evidence, no corroboration and no question, and such big allegations were levelled.” Prasad asked if opposition parties wanted to revert to the use of ballot papers in elections, alleging that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress had used them to rig local polls in the State last year.

“The Congress is the biggest culprit as it weakened institutions. It now levels this allegation against our leader,” he said, in an apparent reference to the Opposition party’s charge that Prime Minister Narendra is attacking institutions.

He also expressed “deep pain” at the allegation levelled at the London event that former Union Minister Gopinath Munde was “murdered” because he was aware that the 2014 polls were “rigged”. “Munde had died in a road accident in New Delhi weeks after the BJP won the 2014 elections. The name of a deceased person was used as he could no longer respond,” Prasad said, adding that an AIIMS doctor, who was involved in Munde’s post-mortem, had on Monday said he died of a neck injury suffered in the accident.

“Gandhi should answer as to how many more alibis he was going to invent for the party’s loss in the Lok Sabha polls,” Prasad said. The London event was also meant to defame the popular mandate in 2014, he said.

On EVM hackathon

“No political party or expert had taken up the open challenge thrown by the EC in 2017, inviting people to hack the EVMs,” he said. The Supreme Court had also dismissed in November last year, a petition seeking re-introduction of ballot papers.” Meanwhile, the EC on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to register an FIR against Shuja as his claims could ‘create fear’ among the public.

Published on January 22, 2019
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