No heat wave forecast on fourth phase polling day: Election Commission

Four Union Ministers, key Opposition figures in the fray, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury; Andhra Pradesh, Odisha will also elect their State Assemblies

Updated - May 13, 2024 06:41 am IST

Published - May 12, 2024 09:03 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Polling officials leave for their respective polling stations on the eve of the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Odisha on May 12, 2024.

Polling officials leave for their respective polling stations on the eve of the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Odisha on May 12, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday said the weather forecast indicated that there would be no heat wave-like conditions in the 96 Lok Sabha constituencies across 10 States and Union Territories which are going to the polls in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha election on Monday.

Prominent candidates in the fray include Union Ministers Giriraj Singh (Begusarai, Bihar), Nityanand Rai (Ujiarpur, Bihar), Arjun Munda (Khunti, Jharkhand), and Ajay Mishra Teni (Kheri, Uttar Pradesh); five-time Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Baharampur, West Bengal), Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (Kannauj, U.P.), and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad, Telangana).

Andhra Pradesh Congress president Y.S. Sharmila (Kadapa), and Trinamool Congress leaders Mahua Moitra (Krishnanagar, West Bengal) and Shatrughan Sinha (Asansol, West Bengal) are also contesting in the fourth phase of polling.

Live voter turnout updates

Noting that all arrangements are in place for smooth conduct of the election, the EC said: “Since Phase-3, voter turnout app is updated with a new feature of displaying overall approximate turnout live for each phase.” This means that the voter turnout data for each phase, State, Assembly and parliamentary constituency will now be available live on the app on a two-hourly basis on polling day until 7 p.m. Thereafter, it will be continuously updated on the arrival of polling parties.

The constituencies that will vote on Monday have 8.97 crore male and 8.73 crore female electors. The 175 Legislative Assembly seats of Andhra Pradesh and 28 Legislative Assembly seats of Odisha will also go to the polls. The polling time has been increased in Telangana (from 7 a.m. till 6 p.m.) to increase voters’ participation.

Normal temperatures

The Commission said that as per the India Meteorological Department forecast, there is no significant concern regarding hot weather conditions during fourth phase polling.

“The weather forecast indicates that the parliamentary constituencies going for polls are likely to experience normal to below normal temperatures (±2 degrees) and there will be no heat wave-like condition in these areas on the polling day. However, for convenience of voters, meticulous arrangements have been made at all polling stations including facilities like water, shamianas, and fans,” it said.

The EC said that 1,717 contestants from 10 States and UTs are in the fray in the fourth phase. The average number of contesting candidates in a parliamentary constituency is 18. As part of the arrangements, 122 air sorties have been done in three States (Andhra Pradesh-2, Jharkhand-108, Odisha-12) to ferry election and security officials. Over 19 lakh poll officials will be deployed across 1.92 lakh polling stations.

Home voting facilities

“There are over 12.49 lakh registered 85+ years old and 19.99 lakh PwD (Person with Disability) voters for Phase-4 who have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their homes. The optional Home Voting facility is already receiving tremendous appreciation and response... 364 observers (126 general observers, 70 police observers, 168 expenditure observers)... have already reached their constituencies days before the polls... Additionally, Special Observers have been deployed in certain States,” the Commission said.

For a round-the-clock watch, the EC has deployed 4,661 flying squads, 4,438 static surveillance teams, 1,710 video surveillance teams, and 934 video viewing teams to deal strictly and swiftly with any form of inducement of voters. “A total of 1,016 inter-State and 121 international border check posts are keeping strict vigil on any illicit flow of liquor, drugs, cash, and freebies. Strict surveillance has been kept at sea and air routes,” it said.

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