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Business News/ News / India/  Lok Sabha polls phase 2: Turnout likely to drop amid heatwave alert on Friday. What voters should do
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Lok Sabha polls phase 2: Turnout likely to drop amid heatwave alert on Friday. What voters should do

The first phase of elections saw a turnout of 65.5%, a drop of 4.4% from 2019.

The first phase of elections saw a turnout of 65.5%, a drop of 4.4% from 2019. (REUTERS)Premium
The first phase of elections saw a turnout of 65.5%, a drop of 4.4% from 2019. (REUTERS)

As voting starts for Lok Sabha polls 2024, rising political tensions coincide with a sweeping heatwave affecting multiple states.

The first phase of elections saw a turnout of 65.5%, a drop of 4.4% from 2019. The upcoming second phase, covering 13 states and Union Territories, faces additional challenges with heatwave warnings in parts of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka.

Data, as shared by NDTV, from Nawada and Gaya Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar indicate there is a strong link between high temperatures and decreased voter turnout. 

In Nawada, on April 11, 2019, with a maximum temperature of 35°C, turnout was 52.5%, dropping to 41.5% on April 19, when the temperature reached 42°C. Similarly, in Gaya, turnout decreased from 56% on April 11, at 35°C, to 52% on a day with a maximum temperature of 42°C.

This year, the India Meteorological Department has predicted a very hot summer and heatwave situation in many states on polling days. Earlier this month, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and the Election Commissioners held a high-level meeting, which was also attended by the IMD chief, to take stock of the situation.

Dr Naresh Kumar, Senior Scientist at the India Meteorological Department, said, as quoted by NDTV, "We have issued a red alert for heat in West Bengal for the next three days. Temperatures in Bihar will exceed 40 degrees Celsius. A heatwave is expected in eastern Uttar Pradesh after 24 hours and in western Uttar Pradesh after two days. The temperature will remain hot and humid in Kerala too."

What voters should do?

Kumar advised, following National Disaster Management Authority guidelines, wear light, loose clothes and cover your head in hot weather. Avoid exposing too much skin to heat. 

"Always carry plenty of fluids and water, and keep an eye on the daily forecast as well as advisories of the India Meteorological Department," he added.

 

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Published: 23 Apr 2024, 06:31 PM IST
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