Thunderstorms hit Bengal campaign of Rahul, Advani (Lead)April 14th, 2011 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS
Siliguri (West Bengal), April 14 (IANS) Thunderstorms in large parts of West Bengal’s Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts Thursday poured water on the campaign plans of several political heavyweights.
While senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and party chief Nitin Gadkari were stranded in Siliguri, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had to cancel one of his five campaign meetings scheduled for the day.
The two north Bengal districts have been lashed by rain and thunderstorms since Wednesday, blowing away roofs of houses and leaving roads waterlogged.
Gandhi, who came to Naxalbari in Darjeeling district Thursday morning, had to cut short his second meeting at Malbazar in Jalpaiguri as the storm gained momentum.
“The Malbazar meeting had to be ended abruptly. Gandhi was scheduled to fly to Mothabari (in Malda district) for his third meeting. However, due to the bad weather, he drove to Bagdogra airport in Darjeeling, from where he took a special flight to Purnia (in Bihar),” Deputy Inspector General of Police (Jalpaiguri Range) D.T. Lepcha told IANS.
From Purnia, Gandhi flew in a chopper to Malda district, where he addressed a rally at Mothabari.
Advani and Gadkari, who was scheduled to fly to Falakata and Kumargram areas of Jalpaiguri in the morning, managed to address rallies at the two spots only late in the afternoon.