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India's massive election faces heatwave challenge in penultimate phase

25/5/2024 11:35
        The world's largest election may become the hottest on Saturday, as Indians participate in the next-to-last phase of voting with temperatures forecast to surge to 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) in the capital New Delhi.
        
        More than 111 million people in 58 constituencies across eight states and federal territories are eligible to vote in the sixth of the seven-stage general election, including in the capital territory and the northern swing states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
        
        Officials are concerned that the heatwave in parts of northern India, including Delhi and neighbouring Haryana state, could discourage voters from going to the polls and standing in lines, in an election earlier marked by low turnout.
        
        Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is favoured to win a third consecutive term, a feat previously achieved only by independence hero Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.
        
        Voting began on April 19 and will conclude on June 1, with counting set for June 4.
        



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