THE ADAMANT refusal of the southwest monsoon to withdraw has got political parties worried that rain will play spoilsport as they set out for rallies, roadshows and campaigns across the state, which goes to polls on October 21.
According to the Met department, the monsoon withdrawal from the extreme northwestern parts of the country is expected to commence not before October 7. Normally, the commencement of retreat is September 1, which means that this year, the monsoon has overstayed for a month.
Due to this, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that a further delayed withdrawal is likely from parts of the state, pegging it around October 15.
“There is more rain in store for East Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat during this week, as a result of which it is still not conducive to declare the commencement of monsoon withdrawal from the country. Once the moisture levels drop, we are expecting the retreat to start after a week,” D Sivananda Pai, head, climate research and services at IMD, Pune, told The Indian Express.
With the IMD issuing fresh forecasts of intermittent rain spells accompanied by thunder and lightning after October 3 over Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada sub-divisions, political parties will have to carefully plan outdoor campaigns and roadshows in these areas.
“Due to weak monsoon currents, the rainfall will be mostly convective in nature and will be realised during the afternoon hours. Rainfall will be intense, last for a shorter duration but can be an intense spell which people must watch out for,” said Anupam Kashypai, head, weather department, IMD, Pune.
According to Congress leader Abhay Chhajed, it will be difficult for the party to hold election campaigns if the monsoon withdrawal starts during the election period.
“No one knows how much rainfall will occur during the monsoon withdrawal. If it rains heavily, then it will create problems,” said Chhajed, who is in-charge of party affairs for Kolhapur.
He added that if there was heavy rainfall, then the Election Commission will have to rethink extending the dates of the election.
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