Delay in procuring indelible ink to hit polls

  • The EC has completed printing ballot papers for 41 districts

Kathmandu, March 28

The Election Commission has initiated the process of procuring indelible ink required for local level polls slated for May 14.

The election body took the decision after it didn’t get a response from the Indian side despite repeated requests, according to a top EC official.

Indelible ink is needed to mark those who cast votes. The EC had sought indelible ink, several vehicles and stationery for the civic polls from India.

“We have started the process of procuring indelible ink,” said EC’s Commissioner Narendra Dahal. He said the EC initiated the procurement process to ensure that indelible ink was supplied to the polling stations on time.

According to commissioner Dahal, the Indian side has neither refused to provide indelible ink and vehicles nor has it assured the EC that it will give the same on time. Dahal believes that scheduled elections will be hit if indelible ink is not supplied to polling stations on time.

He said the election body could manage vehicles required for polls from within Nepal but polls were not possible without indelible ink.

EC’s Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma said the election body had to start its own preparation, as its requests had not been responded to properly. He said the EC had requested poll paraphernalia via diplomatic channels and had also written formal letters to the authorities concerned of the northern and southern neighbours.

Sharma said the EC would start delivery of electoral materials once it got them from the neighbouring countries.

He said the EC had completed printing of ballot papers for 41 districts and sent design of ballot papers for five districts to Janak Education Materials Centre today.  The commission said that it had been printing ballot papers for the remote districts first.