Election Commission Rejects Reports Of EVM Tampering By Bluetooth In Gujarat Phase 1 Polls

| December 10 , 2017 , 08:06 IST

The Gujarat Phase 1 state assembly elections for 89 seats in Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat districts which took place on Saturday was marred by allegations of EVM tampering, likely by Bluetooth. After conducting an inquiry, the Election Commission has rejected the reports of tampering with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) by means of Bluetooth technology.

According to reports, nearly 100 EVMs were found to have technical glitches and were replaced. Congress party workers alleged that in some booths in Porbandar, Navsari, and Rajkot the EVMs had been tampered with.

Contesting from Porbandar, former Gujarat state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia claimed that the EVMs in 3 polling booths were connected with mobile phones through Bluetooth.

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"The chips fitted in EVMs appear to be programmable using Bluetooth and this raises the possibility of tampering. The voting system should be immune to such connectivity to external devices," Modhwadia said.

The Election Commission, after conducting its inquiry found the allegations of tampering with EVMs through Bluetooth technology to be baseless.

"The device which the complainant's mobile phone detected after putting the Bluetooth on was not an EVM, but a mobile phone carried by a polling agent," EC said.

Gujarat chief electoral officer (CEO) B B Swain said to media, that the mobile phone of the complainant had through Bluetooth detected a device marked as 'ECO 105' which led to the confusion.

"ECO 105 was feared to be the EVM at the polling booth, giving rise to the fear of possible tampering through Bluetooth technology," Swain said.

The second and final phase of the Gujarat elections will be taking place on December 14 and the counting for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh which went to polls in November, will be conducted on December 18.