Kapil Sibal on EVM hackathon: Don’t know if charges are right, but government should order a probe

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Under fire from the BJP, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday clarified that his presence at the EVM Hackathon event in London was in a personal capacity. In a press conference, Sibal said that the organiser of the event Ashish Ray had sent a personal invitation to him. Since I know him, I told him that I would be there for some other work but I would certainly attend it and I attended it, he said. His statement came hours after Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a scathing attack on the Congress and asked: What was Sibal doing there? In what capacity was he present? The minister alleged that Sibal was there to monitor the event for the Congress. It was a Congress-sponsored conspiracy designed to defame Indian democracy and its Election Commission, Prasad had said. Reacting to the BJPs charges, Kapil Sibal said that Prasad had made an irresponsible statement, not befitting the office he holds. He further said that this was an issue of free and fair elections. This was about the Electronic Voting Machines and whether they can be tampered with. This is an issue concerning the survival of democracy in India, Sibal said. The Congress leader further said that he was not saying whether charges were right or wrong but the Indian government should initiate an enquiry to find out the truth. There should be an inquiry in the charges he (Syed Shuja) has made. He claimed his colleagues were killed. The Supreme Court and the law says there should be an FIR. It is your responsibility if someone is making allegations it is important to ascertain whether the charges are right or not. If the charges are wrong, take action against him, Sibal said. On Monday, so-called cyber expert Syed Shuja claimed that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were rigged through the electronic voting machines. He also said that even recent assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat were manipulated. Syed claims to have worked with ECIL in India. The Election Commission has rejected all his claims. The commission has written to Delhi Police requesting it to lodge an FIR and investigate properly the claims made by Syed Shuja at an event in London.

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