Voters will be using special violet-ink pens for the first time in the presidential elections to be held on Monday in which National Democratic Alliance's Ram Nath Kovind is pitted against opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
The pens have been procured from Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited that supplies indelible ink to mark voters' fingers. An official said that MPs and MLAs will not be allowed to carry their personal pens inside the voting hall. They will be given a violet ink pen that carries a unique serial number before they enter the voting hall. The special pen will have to be returned to the polling staff. Voting by using any other pen will be held invalid.
The pens have been introduced following a controversy during voting in the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana in September 2016. Votes of 12 MLAs from Congress and its allies were declared invalid because they had marked their preferences with a pen other than the one officially supplied by the poll staff, reports PTI.
While announcing the schedule of the election, the poll panel had made it clear that use of any other pen could lead to the invalidation of the vote at the time of counting under the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Rules, 1974.
EC has appointed 33 observers to oversee the conduct of the election. While two observers will be present in the Parliament House, one each will be deployed in the respective state assemblies.
(With agency inputs)