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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Sole supplier of indelible ink says 70% production complete

Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd(MPVL), the sole supplier of indelible ink, is gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections 2024. The company has received its biggest order till date for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Karnataka government undertaking has been manufacturing the ink since 1962, solely for the Election Commission.

A polling official marks a voter with indelible ink. (AFP File Photo)

MPVL has shared that 70% of the production was complete and the rest will be done by March 15, reported The Times of India.

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“The order we received from the EC for the 2024 general elections is the largest order so far. We have delivered most vials to the northeast and Jammu & Kashmir. We are now producing the ink for Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, said MPVL managing director K Mohammed Irfan.

MPVL will provide 26 lakh vials of indelible ink to various states for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, reported news agency PTI in February.

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All you need to know about the indelible ink

  • The indelible ink has been developed by the Council of Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory based in Delhi. The ink was developed to counter the challenge of fraudulent voting.
  • It is applied on the left forefinger of a person as proof that he or she has cast the vote. In case where a voter has his left forefinger missing, the ink will be applied to any other finger on his left hand. And if all the fingers of his left hand are missing, then the ink will be applied to the voter’s forefinger or any other finger of his right hand.
  • “In the case where all his fingers of both the hands are missing be construed as a reference to such extremity of his left or right arm as he possesses,” the Conduct of Election Rules states.
  • It contains silver nitrate, which on reaction with the nail and exposure to light gets darker. This water-based ink also contains a solvent like alcohol to allow its faster drying. The composition is optimised such that it diffuses into the skin spontaneously to give a definite marking which is resistant to chemical and mechanical manipulations.
  • The ink leaves a deep purple mark where it is applied. The ink mark is normally expected to last for three days when applied on the skin but lasts for a few weeks on the fingernail till the nail grows out.
  • A 10 ml vial of ink can be used to mark the fingers of around 700 people.

Indelible ink was used during Covid pandemic

The Election Commission of India had allowed the use of the indelible ink for non-electoral purposes during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some states had used it to identify people under home quarantine during the pandemic.

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