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IMD forecasts rainfall with gusty winds in southwest MP; weather may dampen voter turnout

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Bhopal: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday forecast rainfall with gusty winds with a chance of hail at isolated places in the Malwa-Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh, where polling is on in eight constituencies in the fourth and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections in the state. The Election Commission (EC) and government agencies are working to increase voter turnout, which has been hit because of extreme heat, among other reasons.

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As per poll authorities, an average voter turnout of 32.38 per cent was recorded till 11 am in the Lok Sabha seats of Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsour, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa.

A voter turnout of 64.76 per cent was recorded in 21 constituencies that went to polls in the first three phases, while in the 2019 general elections, these constituencies had seen 69.74 per cent polling, MP chief electoral officer Anupam Rajan said.

Talking to PTI, IMD Bhopal's senior meteorologist Abhijeet Chakrobarty said rainfall of 1.5 mm was recorded at Kannod in Dewas district of the Malwa region between 8.30 am and 10.30 am.

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As per the forecast, rainfall with gusty winds and a chance of hail is likely at isolated places in Khargone, Khandwa, Barwani, Alirajpur, Jhabua, Dhar, Indore, Ratlam, Ujjain, Dewas, Shajapur, Mandsaur and Neemuch from 8.30 am on Monday to 8.30 am on Tuesday, he said.

Apart from Indore, SC-reserved constituencies of Dewas and Ujjain, ST-reserved seats of Raltam, Dhar and Khargone, and Khandwa and Mandsaur received rainfall in the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am, he said.

Manawar town in Dhar district received 46 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, ending at 8.30 am, he added.

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An election official said the authorities have not received complaints of power outages in polling stations.

They have learned of windstorms and gusty winds in some parts of the Nimar region, including Khandwa, Khargone, Barwani and Burhanpur districts, he said.

"We are concerned about the inclement weather. We are trying to ramp up the turnout, but the weather is creating a hurdle. We have enough time till 6 pm when the voting culminates," he said.

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