Bangalore: Karnataka will be the first state to conduct polls after the notification to redraw boundaries of constituencies was issued in February, on the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission of India.
And as is the case with any election, it is boom time for a select group of firms. Take the case of public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which supplies electronic voting machines, or EVMs. Approximately 50,000 EVMs — including back-up machines — would be required at 39,758 polling stations across Karnataka. Each costs Rs10,500, after factoring in taxes and transportation.
Making a more permanent mark, quite literally, would be Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd (MPVL), a Karnataka government-owned company, which last week began producing 110,000 bottles of indelible ink, or voter’s ink — a vital requirement for any election.
Nearly 1,100 litres of the ink, priced at Rs64 per 10ml bottle, will be used to mark the left index fingers of 40 million people expected to turn out to vote for their candidates.
While it also manufactures several varieties of paints, indelible ink has become the primary product of the 71-year-old company. The sole manufacturer in the country, it has supplied the ink for every election in India since 1962. MVPL also exports the product to some 25 countries.
M.V. Hemanth Kumar, managing director, says that MPVL is the only Indian company to have manufactured the ink, though he was not sure if it was imported prior to 1962.
For the Karnataka’s electorate, the single biggest poll issue is stability, as the state has been forced into elections a year ahead of schedule because of unsuccessful coalition experiments.
But MVPL cannot really complain.Voter’s ink contributed to 72% of the company’s total sales of Rs13.05 crore in 2006-07 compared with 47% five years before. “That’s because the number of elections is going up,” says C. Harakumar, marketing manager. With more states headed for elections this year, the news only gets better for the firm.