Khammam: It is a common sight to see voters, especially first-timers, sporting a broad smile and flashing their left index finger marked with an indelible ink as they emerge from polling booths.
The mark of the indelible ink, which means that a person had exercised his franchise, is made to ensure that the voter does not get a chance to vote again. The ink, also known as voter’s ink, is produced by the Karnataka-owned public sector company Mysore Paints and Varnishes Ltd (MPVL) established by the erstwhile Mysore king Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar in 1937.
Since 1962, the MPVL is the only supplier of the ink to ECI. The ink is used in all Lok Sabha, Assembly and local body polls.
The company also exports the ink to 28 countries, including United Kingdom, Malaysia, Turkey, Denmark, Pakistan and others.
It is learnt that the each 10 ml vial costs about Rs 142 and the volume is sufficient to mark on the fingers of 500 voters. Once marked, it takes about four weeks for the ink to fade away from the finger.
In the forthcoming general elections, a whopping 814 million voters will go to the polls in the country to choose representatives for the Lok Sabha.
In 2009 general elections, the MPVL had supplied around 2 million vials of 10 ml each, out of which Uttar Pradesh alone had consumed 2.88 lakh vials.
The electoral ink contains silver nitrate which stains the skin on exposure to ultraviolet light, leaving an indelible mark
Ink, which usually in violet colour, is applied on voter’s finger as a line from the top end of the nail of the left forefinger.