ANDHRA PRADESH

Severe heat no deterrent to voters

Ramesh Susarla



Guntur city records a temperature of 42 degree Celsius



GUNTUR/NARSARAOPET: Voters dared heat wave conditions prevailing in Guntur district and came out in larger numbers to exercise their franchise both in urban and rural polling stations. The turnout was more than in the 2004 elections.

Guntur citizens queued up before the polling stations from 6.30 a.m. to avoid waiting in the hot sun, and by 8 a.m.10 per cent of votes were cast.

At four places EVMs did not function properly in the city and polling began about half an hour late.

But voters waited patiently in the sun. Women turned out at all the polling booths in large numbers and stood in the hot sun till their turn came. Heat wave conditions were prevailing in the district, with city recording 43.2 degree Celsius on Wednesday and 42 degree C on Thursday.

Rentachintala in the district recorded the highest day temperature of 46.4 degree Celsius on Wednesday and 45.1 degree C on Tuesday.

Bapatla recorded 39.5 degree C, Ongole 40.9 degree C, Nellore 40.9 degree C and Gannavaram 41 degree C.

The heat wave conditions were severely felt over Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam and Nellore districts and nine districts of Telangana.

No respite

Such conditions would continue for the next 48 hours, Hyderabad Met Office told The Hindu on Thursday.

There were long queues in all the polling booths in Tadikonda, Phirangipuram, Narsaraopet, Sattenapalli and Guntur and some went back home to come in the evening just before sun-set unable to wait in the sun at Satuluru in Chilakaluripalem constituency.

At Sattenapalli, many Muslim women with burkas were unable to take the heat and went back home to return at 4 p.m.

Voting continued till 6.30 p.m. at many places in the district, while it ended by 6 p.m. in Guntur city.

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