Rain spells relief in Bihar

 Heavy to intermittent rainfall in the last 24 hours in most parts of Bihar has brought smiles to the face of those who were braving the scorching sun. At the same time, it has washed away plans of those political leaders who were supposed to address meetings on the last day of campaign for the Maharajganj Lok Sabha by-election.

The campaigning phase concluded on Friday and the voting will now take place on Sunday to decide the winner among the JD-U, RJD, Congress three-cornered contest.
But political heat apart, rains have brought down the soaring mercury throughout the state. While Delhi reeleing under 44 degrees Celsius, Patna was quite pleasant at 24 degrees. “Patna on Thursday is as good as a hill station. Quite unusual too, compared to previous summers,” said bank employee Sushmita, who had taken leave on Friday to be with her family and enjoy the drizzle.

The continuous rainfall is attributed to a depression over the Bay of Bengal as well as a static trough line between Madhya Pradesh and the Bay of Bengal.

But while the unseasonable rain provided relief to most from the sultry heat, it heaped miseries on those residing in low-lying areas. The connecting roads remained waterlogged due to the apathy of civic authorities. Roads dug out to lay new supply links for drinking water at many places further compounded the problem. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) director Ashish Sen said that rainfall was likely to continue for the next few days. “Normally, monsoon reaches Bihar by June 13. But this year it might reach here earlier because of changed weather conditions and continuous rainfall,” he added.

Meanwhile, unnerved by the overcast weather, Lalu Prasad started a door-to-door campaign in Maharajganj for RJD nominee Prabhunath Singh, a veteran leader who is pitted against JD-U’s P K Sahi. The battle is being seen more as a prestige issue for the two regional satraps – Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad. Congress candidate Jitendra Swami, son of former Maharajganj MP Uma Shankar Singh (whose untimely death earlier this year necessitated the by-poll), has made the contest a triangular one.

Meanwhile, actor-turned-Congress MP Raj Babbar, who had come to Bihar to campaign for his party’s nominee, visited Gaya on Friday and offered Pinda daan.

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