May 30, 2024

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In India, voters are calling for bravery to face the heat wave

In India, voters are calling for bravery to face the heat wave

The second phase of general elections in India began on Friday, April 26; Millions of voters are expected to turn out at polling stations in parts of the country with scorching heat.

Compared to the 2019 election, turnout in the first phase of voting last week was down almost four points to 66%, with above-average temperatures dropping. The second round of the seven-member election to ease the logistics of the election in the world's most populous country is being held in areas that have seen temperatures above 40 degrees this week.

According to the Indian Meteorological Services, severe heat waves are expected throughout the weekend in several states, including the eastern state of Bihar, where five districts go to polls on Friday. Temperatures were 5.1 degrees above the seasonal average there this week. Karnataka state (south) and parts of Uttar Pradesh (north), India's most populous state and the heartland of Hinduism, are expected to vote under warmer temperatures.

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Earlier this week, the Election Commission of India said it had set up a task force to study the impact of heat waves and humidity ahead of each phase of voting. According to the newspaper the HinduBecause this decision may have been made “Heat wave conditions may have led to lower voter turnout”.

In a statement released on Monday, the commission clarified that no “No big worries” Effects of high temperatures on Friday's vote. He promised to closely monitor and confirm the weather reports “Comfort and well-being of voters and election workers”.

Restlessness of Roads Minister

In Maharashtra state, the heat caused Roads Minister Nitin Gadkari to fall ill on Wednesday as he called for votes for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – at an election rally. . According to video footage, Mr Gadkari fainted and later blamed the incident “in the heat”.

Just before the polls reopened, Mr. Modi asked “Record Name”. With the opposition struggling, the prime minister is almost certain to win the six-week long polls. “High turnout strengthens our democracy”He wrote on the social network “Your vote is your voice!” »

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Voting on Friday in the constituency of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, India's main opposition party. The 53-year-old is fighting to retain his seat in Kerala, a stronghold of the BJP's enemies in the south of the country. “It is the duty of every citizen to become a soldier of the Constitution, leave their homes today and vote to defend democracy.”He wrote on the X Network.

In total, 968 million Indians are called to elect 543 members of the Lower House, which is more than the combined population of the United States, the European Union and Russia. The votes cast across the country will be counted on June 4. Results are usually announced on the same day.

The world with AFP

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