Heatwave Impacts Voter Turnout in Gujarat

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Heatwave Impacts Voter Turnout in Gujarat

| Updated: May 8, 2024 15:46

As summer temperatures soar, a sense of lethargy seems to be taking hold, with many people choosing to stay indoors to escape the scorching heat. This trend was evident in yesterday’s voter turnout, which suggests that the heatwave conditions may have deterred some from exercising their democratic right.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that the heatwave conditions will persist in Gujarat on Tuesday. Yesterday, residents endured intense heat with the mercury hitting a high of 41 degrees Celsius. Despite these challenging conditions, approximately 57 percent of Gujarat’s voters braved the heat to cast their votes.

Gujarat typically experiences extreme heat in May, just before the onset of the monsoon in June. Heatwave conditions are a common occurrence in the state during the summer months. During the polling for the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, temperatures soared to 41 degrees Celsius in many areas.

The third phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 took place on May 7, with voting conducted on 93 seats across 10 states and three Union Territories, including Gujarat. The first and second phases of voting concluded on April 19 and April 26 respectively, both recording lower turnouts compared to the 2019 elections.

In this third phase, polling was conducted for 25 out of 26 seats in Gujarat, encompassing both urban and rural areas. The constituencies that went to polls included Kutch, Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad East, Ahmedabad West, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Anand, Kheda, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara, Chota Udepur, Bharuch, Bardoli, Navsari and Valsad.

Comparatively, during the 2019 Indian general election, which was held in seven phases between April and May to form the 17th Lok Sabha, the average temperature in Gujarat on the polling day was 34 degrees Celsius. The turnout was higher than yesterday’s Lok Sabha polls, suggesting that the higher temperatures may have had an impact on voter turnout. With more than 4.47 crore voters for the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, around 2.84 crore people cast their votes, resulting in an average voter turnout of 63.67 percent in Gujarat.

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