India’s colossal electoral exercise will come to an end today with the counting of 550 million votes sealed in more than 1.8 million electronic voting machines (EVMs). The early leads suggest that the Modi wave during Lok Sabha Elections 2014 helped Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to rope in the biggest mandate for a single-party since 1984.
Such a huge mandate suggests nothing but defiance against the ruling party and a stable government at the Centre. Seems like it’s a historical defeat for the Congress party and the dynasty has been reduced to a regional party.
Keeping the Modi Wave in mind, the mandate could have been even better but weather played a major role. The Lok Sabha Elections 2014 held in nine phases for more than a month during the hottest season of the country witnessed temperatures rising above 40⁰C in several states. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal were all reeling under unbearable heat which must have kept back some ailing and elderly people away from the polling booths. An estimated 550 million people voted in the run-up to world's largest democratic exercise involving a staggering 814 million voters.
During the 7th phase when all 26 seats in Gujarat went for polls, the state was sizzling hot with places like Ahmedabad and Rajkot recording maximums above 42°C. While casting their valuable votes, people in few pockets also experienced heat waves. However, the weather will be in favour of people rejoicing for the victory of their leader as Gujarat will receive some rain in the next 24 hours.
North India at present is comparatively comfortable than rest of the country with maximums rising only gradually. Yesterday Delhi recorded 35.4⁰C as day temperature, which is still 4⁰C below normal average. Amritsar, Patiala, Bikaner, Barmer and other places are all following similar trends with maximums still 5-6°C below normal. Even during the polls North India was better off with maximum in Delhi around 34⁰C on the Election Day. According to the latest weather update by Skymet Meteorology Division in India, Rajasthan received light rain in the last 24 hours but the rain belt will shift southwards now.
In East India, Bihar, Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha were all boiling during elections and the temperatures are still high settling in the high-thirties and touching 40⁰C at present. In the absence of any weather, temperatures are rising in Northeast as well with Guwahati recording 38.2⁰C as maximum yesterday.
According to the latest weather update by Skymet Meteorology Division in India, South India is experiencing the last spell of heat. The Monsoon showers will usher in by the 28th of May but proximity of monsoon air mass will bring down temperatures by the beginning of the last week.
picture courtesy- Gazebolive