Heatwave: Political parties focusing more on evening meetings, small gatherings

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Heatwave: Political parties focusing more on evening meetings, small gatherings
Representational imagePTI
With day temperatures in Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts of Odisha hovering between 39 and 42 degrees Celsius, political parties are focusing more on evening meetings and small village gatherings while campaigning for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Malkangiri district under Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat recorded the highest temperature of 42 degrees Celsius recently. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast more heatwaves in the next few days in the state.
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Odisha's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunj B Dhal has suggested that political parties and candidates undertake election campaigning with adequate measures to beat the heat.

BJP candidate for Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat Balabhadra Majhi said, "I had prepared a chart for my campaigning soon after the declaration of the tickets but altered my campaigning itinerary due to the scorching temperature, focusing more on evening meetings and small village gatherings."

Pradeep Majhi, BJD candidate for the Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat acknowledged that heatwave has caused disruption in his election campaign but was optimistic about overcoming these challenges before the election date.

Many candidates, including Kaliram Majhi, BJP's candidate for the Koraput Lok Sabha seat, emphasized the shift towards indoor campaigning due to the unbearable heat, limiting outdoor rallies and roadshows.

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"We are unable to take out roadshows and rallies because of the prevailing heat. Hence, I prefer indoor campaigning to outdoor meetings," said Tara Prasad Bahinipati, the Congress candidate for the Jeypore assembly seat under Koraput Lok Sabha seat.

The incumbent Koraput MP and Congress candidate for the Koraput Lok Sabha seat Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka highlighted the importance of staying hydrated and taking afternoon breaks to combat the heat during campaigning.

"Though I have planned for a few rallies in urban areas, seeing the heatwave has temporarily halted it. Presently, I am focusing on indoor meetings with the people of my constituency," said Ulaka.

On Monday BJD Puri Lok Sabha constituency candidate Arup Patnaik was rushed to hospital after he fell down during campaigning near Pipili town in Puri district due to heatwave conditions. However, his health condition later improved after hospitalisation.

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