Elon Musk suggests eliminating EVMs; BJP leader opposes; Rahul Gandhi calls Indian EVMs as ‘black box’

News Network
June 16, 2024

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Tech mogul Elon Musk has sent a storm across social media after he tweeted that electronic voting machines should be replaced by paper ballots since he believes such devices are prone to getting hacked.

"We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high," said the Tesla CEO as he retweeted Independent POTUS candidate Robert F. Keddy, who in a post talked about voting irregularities in voting machines in Puerto Rico.

"Luckily, there was a paper trail so the problem was identified and vote tallies corrected. What happens in jurisdictions where there is no paper trail?," Kennedy said.

"US citizens need to know that every one of their votes were counted, and that their elections cannot be hacked. We need to return to paper ballots to avoid electronic interference with elections," he further added.

Soon after Musk's post, BJP leader and former IT Minister of State Rajeev Chandrashekhar took to X and said, "This is a huge sweeping generalization statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong."

He further added, "@elonmusk's view may apply to US n other places - where they use regular compute platforms to build Internet connected Voting machines.(sic)"

Chandrasekhar continued, "But Indian EVMs are custom designed, secure and isolated from any network or media - No connectivity, no bluetooth, wifi, Internet. ie there is no way in. Factory programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed.(sic)"

He even went on to say, "Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We wud be happy to run a tutorial Elon. (sic)"

Soon after, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi posted an image of a news article that says an individual had access to a mobile phone with which an EVM can be unlocked.

Rahul said in his post, "EVMs in India are a "black box," and nobody is allowed to scrutinize them. Serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process. Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability."

The news report by Mid-Day reveals that the accused in question, Mangesh Pandilkar, is a relative of Mumbai North West MP Ravindra Waikar, who belongs to the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.

The article cites police officials as saying that the phone can be used to generate a one-time password (OTP) to unlock an EVM machine, and was used on June 4 inside the NESCO Centre. The phone in question has been sent for forensic tests.

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News Network
July 15,2024

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar's petition challenging the CBI's FIR against him in a disproportionate assets case.

The bench, comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and S C Sharma, stated it would not interfere with the Karnataka High Court's decision.

The case involves allegations by the CBI that Shivakumar accumulated assets disproportionate to his income from 2013 to 2018. 

The FIR was initially filed in September 2020, with an investigation mandated to be concluded within three months by the high court.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: The Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting chaired by district minister Dinesh Gundu Rao here on Friday, debated why Dakshina Kannada had not been sanctioned houses for the poor under various government schemes after the 2021-2022 period.

Puttur MLA Ashok Kumar Rai, raising the issue, said that although housing schemes had been sanctioned for all districts across the state, Dakshina Kannada had not been considered after 2021-22.

“It has been brought to my notice during a discussion with the housing minister, that the district has not submitted a demand for houses between 2021-22 and 2024-25,” Rai said.

When an official cited a technical reason, the minister stated that it was a serious lapse on the part of the officials. 

“There is a need for the initiation of disciplinary action against the concerned officials, because the district failed to sanction houses in the past four years, despite having government land. We cannot tolerate negligence in the implementation of the housing scheme for the poor,” the minister said. Officials informed that in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020, the district was sanctioned 64,123 houses. While 48,252 houses have been built, work on 4,898 is in progress, and the remaining are yet to be started.

Dakshina Kannada ZP CEO Anandh K said that as per a survey conducted in 2018, the district has a demand for 49,715 houses. However, no houses were sanctioned after 2022, he said.

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News Network
July 3,2024

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Bengaluru: Police detained over 10 people, including state BJP chief B Y Vijayendra and leader of the opposition in the assembly, R Ashoka, for attempting to lay siege to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's official residence on Kumar Krupa Road in central Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Led by Vijayendra and Ashoka, over 10 people attempted to stage a protest in front of the Guest House, just beside the CM's official residence, against the alleged multi-crore scam at the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation (KMVSTDC) and recent developments in the state, such as the fuel price hike.

Even as the protestors gathered to denounce the Congress government and the CM, as a precautionary measure, security forces deputed at the K K Guest House (near CM’s house) swooped down on the agitators, detained them and shifted them to a bus stationed at the location.

BJP leaders Araga Jnanendra, MLAs Suresh Kumar and Aravind Bellad and MLC CT Ravi were among the protesters detained by the police.

The alleged multi-crore scam in the KMVSTDC came to light after Chandrashekhar, the accounts superintendent of the corporation, died by suicide on May 26 at his residence in Shivamogga.

The Karnataka governmentt transferred the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the scam.

The SIT has arrested 11 people in connection with the case and the inister for Tribal Welfare, B Nagendra resigned from the Cabinet after the scam came to light.

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