On the 14th of April, Andhra Pradesh (AP) Chief Minister (CM) Chandrababu Naidu said, his technology advisor Hari Prasad Vemuru was not a thief, but a whistleblower.
This reaction from the AP CM came after the Election Commission of India (ECI) sent a letter to the CM on the 13th of April, asking him why a thief, Hari Prasad Vemuru, was a part of the delegation. The case of Vemuru being called a thief goes back to 2010. At the time, Hari told the ECI the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) could be hacked. However, instead of listening to the tech advisor’s judgement, the ECI labelled him a thief.
Hari said it wasn’t only the EVMs which were subject to hacking. According to him, even the current M3 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) systems could be hacked. Hari realised the hacking was possible because the VVPATs being used were flashing the paper trail only for three seconds, instead of the expected eight seconds.
“I have no idea on the status of the eight-year-old case. I felt insulted… the whole world knows why I showed EVM hacking on television. This shows the original code inside the EVM is not sacrosanct. When a code is changed, the machine loses its integrity,” Hari said while defending himself.
While replying to the ECI, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said, instead of focusing on the real issue, the ECI was deflecting the problem and blaming a truthful man.
Reacting to the AP CM’s statement, the ECI asked the TDP Chief Minister to send another technical expert who doesn’t have similar agendas.
With the Indian National Congress (INC) and other Left parties alleging foul play in relation to EVMs, the ECI said it is looking into the matter.
Stay tuned for more updates.