Hindu holy city votes in India's six-week-long election

Hindu holy city votes in India's six-week-long election

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To ease the heavy burden of conducting elections in the world's most populous country, India held the vote in seven phases over six weeks.

Both vote counting and results are expected on Tuesday, but exit polls published after voting ends on Saturday are expected to give some indication of the winner.

Voter turnout has fallen by several percentage points compared to the last national election in 2019, which analysts blame on widespread expectations of a Modi victory as well as the persistent heat in India's northern states.

Extensive scientific research shows that climate change is causing heat waves to become longer, more frequent and more intense, and Asia is warming faster than the global average.

A scorching sun engulfed Varanasi and its myriad temples and riverside cremation grounds during voting on Saturday, with temperatures expected to reach 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit).

“It is already very hot here,” Chinta Devi, who arrived to cast her vote at 8am, told AFP.

He said, “For the last few days, it has been hotter than normal in Varanasi. You can see that all the streets and markets are empty.”

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