In a first of its kind initiative to encourage people to come in large numbers to vote, shopping malls, shops and business establishments in Bardhaman district in West Bengal will give special discounts to voters who show the indelible ink mark on their left forefingers, official sources said on Sunday.

Burdwan District Magistrate and District Election Officer (DEO) Saumitra Mohan held a series of meetings with various chambers of commerce, market committees, markets and shopping malls including big brands/market chains and persuaded them to give special discount to voters who show their elector’s photo identity card (EPIC) and the indelible ink mark on their left forefingers to show that he/she has exercised franchise, the sources said. The discounts will be offered on specified dates.

“We hope that as a result of this initiative, first of its kind in the country, we can encourage voter participation during the ensuing polls. The discount vary from 5 to 10 per cent depending upon the capacity of the vendor/agency concerned,” Mr Mohan said

There are three Lok Sabha constituencies in the district. Bardhaman Purba and Bardhaman Durgapur constituencies will go to polls on April 30 while elections will be held in Asansol on May 7.