Do You Know the Value of Your Vote? How much it Costs?

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

General election phase 1 is about start on 11th April 2019. The cost of democracy is increasing day by day. From 1951 to 2019 the cost per vote has increased many folds. One should not take it lightly while thinking about voting.  

2014 was one of the most expensive general elections until now. As the election process is on the voter base has also been increased. The first general election expenditure per person was even less than one rupee, but the expenditure increased and this election is costing more than 50 rupees. 

The cheapest parliamentary election was in 1957 - it was the second Lok Sabha Polls. Do you know what is costing? It is the expenditure towards setting up polling stations, polling personnel payments, payment to counting staff, telephone on polling and counting centers - temporary installation etc. 

The major cost is of the indelible ink, which was commercialized by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) developed by the National Physical Laboratories (NPL). 

In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the poll panel had bought 21.5 lakh phials, which is 4.5 lakh less than the current year. Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd, a Government of Karnataka undertaking, is the only authorized manufacturer of indelible ink for the EC. 

Chandrashekhar Doddamani, Managing Director (MD), Mysore Paints, said the company has received an order for 26 lakh phials of 10cc each from the EC.  “The expected turnover is approximately Rs 33 crore,” he added. The order, Doddamani said, is higher than the last general elections by 4.5 lakh phials. In this election, almost 90 crore people are eligible to cast their votes for which the EC will set up around 10 lakh polling stations across the country. 

In 1962, the Election Commission, in collaboration with the Law Ministry, National Physical Laboratory and National Research Development Corporation, had made an agreement with Mysore Paints for supply of indelible ink for Lok Sabha and assembly elections.  Since then, it has been supplying the ink for elections in India. A bottle of indelible ink contains 10 cubic centimetres (cc). As per modern measurement methods, one cubic centimetre is equivalent to one millilitre. Mysore Paints exports indelible ink to more than 30 countries across the globe. 

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