Will Delhi go the Mumbai way and record abysmal voter turnout just because it's scorching hot? No, says the weatherman.
In all probability, the maximum temperature will be between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted on Wednesday that temperature during the day would be “below-normal” (read cool), setting the stage for Delhiites to come out and vote, albeit with their shades and sunscreens on. “It will be cool and comfortable enough for people to step out and vote. The effects of the thunderstorms that occurred in Delhi and nearby areas in the past few days is lingering on,” said S.C. Bhan, director of IMD's Delhi operations.
That’s good news for those who have been campaigning hard to get people to exercise the right to vote. “Having favourable weather is very important because it aids the voter's willingness to vote. Cool weather in Delhi is indeed an unexpected bit of good news,” said Jasmine Shah, campaign head of NGO Janaagraha, which powered the popular Jaago Re campaign. “But a very low turnout is the voter’s expression of disenchantment with politicians or their issues,” he added.
After Mumbai's disappointing voter turnout in the third phase (around 41 per cent) was attributed to a muggy weather, among other things, an alarmed election commission has taken measures to protect voters from heat in Delhi.
So, don't be surprised if your polling booth resembles a small hospital with ORS drips and other medication to fight heat stroke on display. Apart from ORS, the Chief Electoral Officer in Delhi has also made arrangements for shaded areas for queuing up, and ample water to drink.
As per forecast, Thursday is likely to be like Wednesday when the maximum temperature remained at 37.1 degrees Celsius-three degrees below normal. The minimum temperature, too, will be a comfortable at 24 degrees Celsius.