Elon Musk has not understood what Indian EVM is: Rajeev Chandrasekhar counters Musk

EVM. Photo courtesy: X/@Rajeev_GoI and PIB


IBNS-CMEDIA: Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s call for elimination of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs has been countered by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

In an X post, Musk said the risk of EVMs getting hacked is high in response to the alleged voting irregularities in the United States.

He quoted an X post and said, “We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.”

When several Indian politicians rallied behind Musk, Chandrasekhar, a former Union Minister of State for Ministry of Electronics and IT, downplayed Musk’s concern alluding it to his lack of knowledge about India’s EVMs.

Chandrasekhar told ANI, “While I respect Elon Musk and what he has achieved. I think he is factually incorrect in saying that anything can be hacked. A calculator or a toaster cannot be hacked. Therefore, there is a limit in terms of where this paradigm of hacking can extend. Elon Musk has not understood what the Indian EVM is.

“Indian EVMs do not lend itself to being hacked because it is precisely very limited intelligence device…He is factually wrong…To claim that there cannot be a secure digital product in the world is to then say that every Tesla car can be hacked…”

He added, ” I think Musk was commenting in the context of some EVMs in the US, specifically Puerto Rico. He made this very sweeping comment- all EVMs can be hacked. I am nobody to get into an argument with somebody like Elon Musk. But, that statement or that generalisation was far too sweeping for it to be left unchallenged.

“Therefore, I pointed out to him, that Indian EVMs are very different from what Americans know of EVMs because the US and the Western world use connected devices. They are using traditional compute platforms that are connected to the Internet as EVMs. I pointed out that the Indian EVMs are architected and designed to be safe and secure because there is no connectivity.

“If there is no connectivity to Wi-Fi or 5G or the Internet in general, there is no way to get it…So, if there is a country that can design an EVM, right, and show the world it is certainly the Indian EVMs…”

Quoting Musk’s post, Congress MP-elect and top leader Rahul Gandhi wrote on X, “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.”

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in power with allies, several prominent opposition leaders had claimed the possibility of EVM hacking.

Rejecting such claims, the Election Commission of India said EVMs are trustworthy.