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Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh voters brave sweltering heat to cast ballots

The Election Commission has taken measures to mitigate the impact of the scorching heat by providing water and shelter at polling booths
07:03 AM May 08, 2024 IST | SURINDER SINGH OBEROI
gujarat  madhya pradesh voters brave sweltering heat to cast ballots
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New Delhi, May 7: As Gujarat voters lined up to cast their ballots, they came prepared to battle the scorching heat. Many were spotted carrying water bottles and cold drinks, while others donned head covers to shield themselves from the relentless sun. The morning hours saw a surge in voter turnout, with more queues forming compared to the afternoon.

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In Madhya Pradesh, weather remains a significant concern with temperatures soaring above 43 degrees Celsius in areas like Bhind, Morena, and Gwalior, surpassing the usual norms.

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Some prominent figures such as Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Digvijaya Singh are contesting in Madhya Pradesh. With nearly 1.8 crore voters and 118 candidates in the fray, voting started at 7 am till 6 pm. Here again witnesses said that heavier turnout took place during the morning and evening hours.

The Election Commission has taken measures to mitigate the impact of the scorching heat by providing water and shelter at polling booths after witnessing a decline in turnout during the first two rounds.

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In a bid to avoid long waits, voters devised strategies to arrive at polling stations early in the morning. India is grappling with one of its hottest summers on record, continuing a trend observed in recent years. The extreme heat has taken its toll, with incidents like federal minister Nitin Gadkari fainting during a campaign rally in Maharashtra due to crowded venues and high temperatures.

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Similar incidents have occurred elsewhere, such as in Kolkata, where temperatures soared above 43 degrees Celsius, causing a television anchor to faint while presenting weather updates. She attributed the incident to the failure of cooling systems in the studio, resulting in unbearable heat.

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Unfortunately, there seems to be no relief in sight as India's weather department has forecasted longer and more intense heat waves for May. As voters navigate the challenging conditions to exercise their democratic rights, staying hydrated and protected from the heat remains a top priority.

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