Prime Miniter Narendra Modi's election rally in Surat has been cancelled due to the impending onslaught of Cyclone Ochki in Gujarat.
According to India Today, Modi was slated to hold a rally in Limbayat on Wednesday, but he has decided to cancel the gathering due to weather concerns. Gujarat is geared "for the worst situation" as cyclone Ochki, that left a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, is expected to make landfall near Surat by Tuesday midnight, officials said.
Earlier, Modi appealed to the Gujarat BJP workers to focus on providing assistance to the people likely to be hit by the cyclonic storm. "With CycloneOckhi expected to make a landfall in Gujarat, I appeal to BJP Gujarat Karyakartas (workers) to focus on helping people across the state. Our Karyakartas should devote themselves to providing all possible assistance and stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens," Modi tweeted.
The prime minister also said that he was continuously monitoring the situation arising due to the cyclone and all possible assistance is being provided to those affected.
With #CycloneOckhi expected to make a landfall in Gujarat, I appeal to @BJP4Gujarat Karyakartas to focus on helping people across the state. Our Karyakartas should devote themselves to providing all possible assistance and stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 5, 2017
The cyclonic warning also lead to BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela reconsidering their campaign schedules.
Shah's poll rallies scheduled on Tuesday in Rajula town of Amreli and Mahuva and Shihor of Bhavnagar district have been cancelled, a BJP party release said. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi held a poll rally in Anjar but cancelled three in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar due to the impending cyclone, reports PTI.
Vaghela, who floated his 'Jan Vikalp' front, was also forced to cancel his roadshows and rallies that were to be held in Junagadh, and Mahuva and Palitana towns of Saurashtra, a leader of his outfit told PTI.
As for the preparations for the cyclone in Gujarat, officials are gearing up for the extreme weather conditions. "The state is fully prepared for the worst situation if it arises. Right now the Ockhi cyclone is 390 km from Surat and is predicted to hit the city around midnight," Pankaj Kumar, principal secretary, Revenue Department, told reporters in Gandhinagar.
The official added that wind velocity was expected to reach around 60 to 70 km, or even "up to even 80 km per hour in the coastal areas of Surat and Valsad". According to an IANS report, when Cyclone Ockhi hits the state, it is expected that sea waves could reach heights of up to two meters.
Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and one of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been stationed at Surat and other coastal areas.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 05, 2017 18:52:59 IST