NEW DELHI: India’s weather bureau has warned the country was facing its second heatwave in three weeks, including in areas where millions of people are set to vote in the six-week election.

Analysts have blamed a dip in turnout compared to the last national poll in 2019 on widespread expectations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will easily win a third term, as well as hotter-than-average temperatures heading into the summer.

The latest round of voting in the seven-phase election will take place on Monday (May 20), including in parts of India expected to see temperatures 2 degrees Celcius to 3 degrees Celsius above normal.

Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Jharkhand states, all of which will hold votes on Monday, could expect to see “moderate” heatwave conditions including temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius, a forecast said late Thursday.

The Indian Meteorological Department warned of “moderate health concern” for infants, the elderly and those with chronic diseases, and advised residents of those states to avoid the heat.

The capital New Delhi was also expected to see maximum temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius at the weekend, the forecast said.


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