Bengaluru: The much vaunted indelible ink, which is used to prevent voters from voting for second time, is turning out to be a thin line of defence, raising serious questions about its quality.
Even after the first phase of voting got over on April 11 in various parts of the country there were complaints that the indelible ink was easily erasable.
A voter from Frazer Town in Bengaluru North constituency too found that the ink on his left hand index finger, put by election officials, could be washed away using soap and nail polish remover.
Instead of shrugging it off, Parakshith Dalal has filed a written complaint to the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) of his booth.
He told Deccan Chronicle, “After I exercised my franchise in Pulakeshi Nagar, I went home on and washed my hands with a soap. To my shock I found that the ink was fading away.”
He further added, “I had read recent reports of indelible ink being removed easily coming from various parts of the country. So I tried the nail polish remover and the ink completely vanished. I immediately went to the polling booth and explained it to the ARO. He asked me to file a written complaint and I immediately did so. It was acknowledged by the ARO and he informed that it will be forwarded to the Election Commission.”
Though Dalal was not very hopeful whether it will be really taken up, he felt it was a serious matter. “People should be aware that these are not minor issues and they need to be taken up seriously. Hope necessary action will be taken. This incident needs to be probed and to check whether the right kind of ink is being used or is someone replacing them.”
When this newspaper tried to contact the polling officials at the booth, they were unwilling to comment.
Well known writer Barguru Ramchandrappa has also posted a video on the poor quality of indelible ink and requested the Election Commission to take up the issue seriously.
State Government undertaking Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd is the sole authorised manufacturer of indelible ink for the Election Commission.
Three held for trying to vote twice
The Election Commission officials caught three construction workers who were attempting to cast their votes second time after exercising their franchise at a constituency in Andhra Pradesh.
The incident took place at a polling booth in Yelahanka Old Town's Chowdeshwari Nagar where the EC officials detained three workers while 10 others, who were present at the same queue, managed to escape.
The men told he EC officials that they were doing it as they had received money from the members of a political party.
The men said that they have their names in electoral lists in their home town as well as in Bangaluru where they work. They had two different voter IDs.
After voting in Andhra Pradesh, the men had removed the ink mark on their fingers using an eraser solution.
The EC officials handed the trio to police. As the officials had not lodged any complaint, the police detained them till evening and let them off with a warning.