Rain threatens poll campaign in Kerala

April 10th, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 10 (IANS) With campaigning in Kerala for the Lok Sabha election slowing down due to the Easter weekend and the coming Malayalam New Year Vishu, the bad weather forecast for the coming week will further impact the process ahead of the April 16 poll.
Polling for Kerala’s 20 Lok Sabha seats takes place April 16 with the campaigning ending on April 14 - when Vishu will be celebrated.

Even as most candidates stayed at home on Good Friday, the weather forecast for the coming five days indicate rain and thundershowers in the state.

In its forecast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said a low pressure area is likely to form over southwest Bay of Bengal during the next 48 hours, leading to increase in rainfall activity and rainhundershowers are likely at a few places over Kerala, Lakshadweep and Tamil Nadu for the next five days.

Rains have already played havoc in central Kerala in the past few days and Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who was campaigning in Pathanamthitta Wednesday, thanked the people who attended the rally in large numbers despite the heavy rain.

“I am really delighted… the turnout in this meeting in the pouring rain clearly shows that we are going to have a landslide victory,” said Antony.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator P. Krishna Prasad, who is leading the party’s campaign in the hilly Wayanad district, said the rain Thursday night had been tough.

“Of course, rains do hamper the smooth campaign, but we are determined that our campaign will go ahead. We are so enthusiastic that nothing will stop us from meeting our voters and we will work in the rain,” Prasad told IANS.

Rains are going to pose a threat especially in the south and central districts of the state.

However, Joseph Vazhakan, who heads the campaign control room in the state Congress party headquarters, termed the rain “a blessing in disguise”.

“The past two weeks have been so hot and humid and in fact, the rains have been welcomed by all. What we saw in the past few days when the rain came pouring down was our supporters welcoming it with glee. We are making no special arrangements for our candidates. If it becomes too hard, we will take a break,” he said.

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