Rains Play Spoilsport in Maharashtra, Kerala as Voters Brave Downpour to Reach Polling Booths
Heavy rains lashed several parts of Maharashtra and Kerala as polling began in the two states on Monday morning. Braving heavy downpour, early voters queued up at polling stations in the five assembly constituencies in Keral to cast their franchise.
A total of 9.57 lakh voters are expected to participate in the bypolls being held in Vattiyoorkavu (Thiruvananthapuram), Aroor (Alapuzha), Konni (Pathnamthitta), Ernakulam and Manjeshwaram (Kasaragod).
A total of 896 polling stations have been set up in the constituencies. According to early reports, except Manjeshwaram, it is raining heavily in the four other constituencies.
The ruling CPI(m)-led LDF, the main opposition Congress headed UDF and the BJP-NDA had put up a stiff fight to woo voters in all the five constituencies — four of which were held by the UDF and one by the LDF.
In Maharashtra, too, where 8.98 crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 3,237 candidates in 288 seats, rains and overcast conditions in several parts threatened to play spoilsport. Kolhapur and Satara witnessed thunder and rain on Sunday, while other parts of the state like Sangli, Nashik, Pune, Ratnagiri and Aurangabad reported medium intensity showers.
The IMD has predicted that "thunderstorm with lightning and gusty winds" are very likely at isolated places in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Beed and Osmanabad districts on Monday.
Some other districts may get light showers while areas in north Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada are likely to be rain-free during Monday.
According to data from Mumbai Regional Meteorological Centre of IMD, in a 24-hour period ending at 8:30am on Sunday, Kolhapur received 46 mm of rain, Satara 89 mm, Parbhani 96 mm and Pune 38 mm.
"We are closely observing the situation and are hopeful voters will be spared vagaries of weather on Monday," said a senior poll official.
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