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Ockhi effect: Political activities hit, election rallies cancelled in Gujarat

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on December 05, 2017

Cyclonic storm affects coastal areas of Saurashtra and South Gujarat which all go to polls in Phase I

Cyclonic storm Ockhi, whose landfall is expected around midnight of Tuesday-Wednesday along Gujarat coast, may have provided a respite to many politicians who are engaged in a do-and-die battle for the ensuing Assembly elections, scheduled to be held in two phases on December 9 and 14.

Election campaign for the two phases will close on December 7 and 12, respectively. The cyclonic storm is affecting mainly coastal areas of Saurashtra and South Gujarat which all go to polls in the first phase.

Reports said rains, clouded skies, wind and a fall in temperature across many districts due to the cyclonic storm have slowed down political activities.

Educational institutions, particularly schools, have been asked to remain shut until the impact of the storm wanes. Trains have also been delayed at some places and vehicular traffic was affected due to low visibility. Different ports have displayed alerts with danger signals.

Due to these changed weather conditions, BJP President Amit Shah, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Congress leader Raj Babbar were among those whose election rallies in different coastal districts of Gujarat were cancelled on Tuesday. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, however, addressed a rally on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to address a dozen rallies in the next three days, beginning Thursday, subject to weather conditions.

IMD had predicted heavy rains across nearly 100 villages in 30 talukas of 10 coastal districts in Gujarat, as also in adjoining Maharashtra, along the Arabian Sea.

According to local reports, nearly 13,000 fishing boats have returned to safer places.

Authorities cancelled ferry boats between Okha Port and Bet Dwarka on Tuesday. Yesterday, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), the state port sector regulator, had cancelled the Ghogha-Dahej RoRo service until Wednesday.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held a high-level meeting with crisis management officials to review the government’s preparedness to meet the situation. NDRF teams, the Indian Army, Navy, Coast Guard and the BSF, besides Gujarat Police, have been put on alert.

Published on December 05, 2017
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