Mired in controversy for attending the ‘EVM hacking’ event in London, Congress leader Kapil Sibal calls Law Minister R.S. Prasad’s allegations ‘mindless’.
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal Tuesday asked the Election Commission of India to order an independent inquiry into allegations made by a US-based ‘cyber expert’, Syed Shuja, who had claimed Monday that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were “rigged”.
“I am really surprised at the controversy, because what he said at the press conference may be true, or it may not be true. But what he said sounded like a sci-fi story,” said Sibal, whose presence at the London press conference where the expert made various claims against the BJP has attracted controversy.
“This is not about the BJP, not about the Congress, or any politics, or any political party. It’s about the foundation of our democratic structures, it is about the election process. This is about free and fair elections. Here is a man who has political asylum in the US. Why was he given political asylum? Someone has to find out.”
Sibal added: “He (Syed) said he worked on a project with the ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited) in which 11-13 people worked. Now that’s something that can be verified from the ECIL itself. He says on a certain day, and he gives the date, 11 people were shot. This sounds unbelievable! If they were not shot, they should be there on the rolls of that project. Or if it’s over, they will be able to discover where they are.”
Law Minister’s comment ‘mindless’
Asked if the press conference was part of a grand conspiracy by the Congress, as alleged by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sibal replied: “See, if anybody makes an allegation like this, that ‘I was shot at’ or ‘11 people were killed’, what will the law of the Supreme Court say? Automatically, an FIR should be lodged.
“Saying it is a Congress conspiracy is a mindless comment, it has no logic to it. Instead of looking at these details and being concerned about the future of the country, and instead of the Election Commission wondering whether it is true or no, shouldn’t the government be inquiring?”
Asked if he had ever met Syed, Sibal replied in the negative.
Ensure purity of Indian elections
On whether he was planning to file a case in an Indian court, Sibal said: “Who am I to file a case? I want purity of elections, and I want the Election Commission to ensure that. They want to file cases (against Syed), let them file cases. But their primary duty is to find out whether this man is telling the truth or not.
“Prime facie if you look at these claims, it is difficult to believe them. But the kind of details that have been given and the clarification that he has issued are mind-boggling. They can be easily corroborated. Now it is clear that he has an identity in the United States. It is clear that he was given political asylum. It is clear he has given the name of 11 persons. He has said exactly what happened, which guest house it took place in.
“The government of India should set up an inquiry and ask a sitting judge to find out whether what he is saying is true or not.”
But what if Syed’s claims are untrue? “Then they should be dealt with. If they are true, then also they should be dealt with.”
Asked what the government can do, Sibal said: “I just expect journalists of this country to investigate and the government of India not to start accusing people. We all should get worried about if this is true, be really worried… that’s all.
“Though he has made allegations against the BJP, I am not making any allegations. I am not as irresponsible as the Law Minister to make allegations against the Congress. I am saying this is serious and we want action to be taken to find out if this is true or not.”