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Monsoon to start withdrawing from country by end of this week, says IMD

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Monsoon to start withdrawing from country by end of this week, says IMD

After a spell of abnormally heavy rains, up to ten times the normal in many parts – although still leaving a 9 percent deficit overall – the monsoon is likely to start withdrawing from the country by the end of the week, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a forecast on Tuesday.

The monsoon normally starts withdrawing from the first week of September, but it has been delayed primarily due to the development of cyclonic conditions.

A change in the wind pattern is likely over west Rajasthan from Thursday and monsoon withdrawal could start from Saturday, IMD said in a statement.

“Prevalence of dry weather is likely over western Rajasthan from tomorrow. Reduction in the moisture associated with the monsoon flow and a changeover in the low level wind pattern are also likely over this region from 27th September. These are indicative of the likely commencement of withdrawal of Southwest monsoon from western Rajasthan around 29th September,” said the IMD forecast.

According to the IMD data, India still has a 9% rainfall deficit and 11 of India’s 36 subdivisions — 29% of the country’s area — have seen a deficit of 29% in monsoon rains between 1st June and 23rd September.

The maximum deficit has been in northeastern India — with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya recording a 32% and 28% shortfall in their monsoon quotas. Jharkhand, Bihar, Saurashtra and Kutch, Rayalseema and north interior Karnataka are among the subdivisions that have registered a deficit of greater than 25%.

The monsoon, which delivers 70 percent of India`s annual rainfall, is critical for 263 million farmers and their rice, sugarcane, corn, cotton and soybean crops because nearly half of the country`s farmland lacks irrigation.

The last few days saw incessant rainfall up to 10 times higher than normal in parts of north India, and heavy snowfall in the upper reaches of the Himalayas.

This, said a report in Hindustan Times (HT) quoting experts, was caused by a combination of strong westerly winds over Gujarat and a deep depression caused by Cyclone Daye over the coast of Odisha, weather experts said on Monday.

Since Friday, north-west India received 454% , or five-and-a-half times, more rainfall than the normal for this period, the report said.

The departure was highest for Punjab, which received over 12 times – 1,193% – more rainfall than usual, and lowest for western Rajasthan, which also got 317% more rain than normal.

The rainfall being experienced by the region at the moment is a result of moisture from both the Bay of Bengal to the east and the Arabian Sea to the west, the HT report said.

“The large low pressure area caused by Cyclone Daye, extending to the coast of Gujarat, got ‘hooked’ with the westerly winds coming from Arabian sea, taking the moisture upwards towards north,” India Meteorological Department (IMD) director general KJ Ramesh told HT.

Although Cyclone Daye made a landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha on Friday morning after weakening substantially, the winds covered a large part of India — from the Telangana-Karnataka region to the Madhya Pradesh-Gujarat-southern Rajasthan region, bringing widespread rainfall, he added. The north would have also received normal rainfall, but strong westerly winds pulled the moisture from Cyclone Daye upwards, giving a “double dose” of rainfall to the region, Ramesh said.

The condition has led to a dip in temperature — by three to five degree Celsius — and caused snowfall in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, which is highly unusual in September. The tribal belt of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir received about one feet of snow on Sunday,damaging potato and apple crops,according to local farmers.

The heavy rainfall has also damaged paddy crop in large parts of Punjab and Haryana. According to farmers, paddy, which is at the maturing stage, has got flattened at several areas. “Paddy grown in low-lying areas is vulnerable to damage due to rains, as it usually gets submerged in water. We are assessing the damage,” said JS Bains, a director of the Punjab agriculture department.

Not just the north, even parts Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka received excess rainfall due to depression cause by the Cyclone Daye.

In Bangalore, several low-lying areas were inundated because of heavy rainfall leading to flooding of roads and uprooting of trees.

“Bengaluru got between 12 to 20 cm of rain due to south-west monsoon in the last 24 hours,” said IMD’s Bengaluru director CS Patil. This was double the normal rainfall for this period of the season.

The unusually heavy rains led to swollen rivers carrying heavy silt from erosion due to loose mountain sides washed away roads and highways and at least 23 people in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana were reported killed till Monday, September 24.

Himachal Pradesh is experiencing what has been called its worst flood-like situation in 23 years. 45 people including 35 IIT Roorkee students have gone missing in Lahaul Spiti alone. Schools were shut in 9 of 12 districts in the state after landslides and snow shut down important roads, and the Beas River overflowed its banks.

Infrastructure too has been severely affected with widespread landslides snapping over 200 road links. Authorities have conducted many rescues in flood-stricken areas like Kullu, Koksar, Rohtang and Mari. However, hundreds more, including tourists, are still reportedly stranded in various parts of the state.

According to reports, three people were washed away in Manali in Himachal Pradesh when their vehicle fell into the Beas river. Three others died in Kullu, one of the worst affected districts. One man was drowned in a swollen rivulet in Kangra district, while yet another man died after a building was washed away in Una district, media reports said.

Educational institutions will remain closed in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday. The situation is expected to improve in some of the states tomorrow.

Punjab too faced the wrath of rains as six people lost their lives to different rain-related incidents across the state. Three victims were from Kapurthala, two from Amritsar, while an 8-month-old girl was from Jalandhar. The state government issued a red alert in the state, ordered schools to be shut and asked all districts to remain on vigil. Rescue and relief teams have been organised to evacuate people and distribute food to beleaguered residents and livestock.

In Jammu & Kashmir, five members of a family were killed in Doda district after a landslide crushed their mud house, officials said on Monday.

The multi-state downpour has also affected tourism. Roads leading to Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri (all major pilgrimage sites) in Uttarakhand have been blocked due to heavy rain and landslides.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Deserted by key supporters, the Kamal Nath story looks set to wind to an end in Chhindwara

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail.

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By Neeraj Mishra

The Congress has lost Chhindwara only once since Independence when the wily Sunderlal Patwa was sent there by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to test Kamal Nath’s hold on the constituency. Patwa won the 1997 by-election by a slim margin in the backdrop of Nath having forced his wife to first contest and later vacate the seat for him. Nath, however, returned to his winning ways the very next year and has won the seat nine times.

It seems possible that Chhindwara, the lone surviving Congress seat, will be lost again this time and may be forever. A day ahead of polling, the town was drowned in saffron. Not so much the effect of vigorous campaigning by Vivek Sahu of the BJP but the Ram Navami festival which brought out saffron flags on every rooftop.  The effect is likely to last since the polling is today. At 77, Nath is unlikely to contest another election here and his son Nakul seems like a pale shadow of his father unable to even make a forceful speech. The days of running Chhindwara from Shikarpur kothi are gone.

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail. Nakul had won by a margin of 37,000 votes in 2019 and the biggest lead had come from Kamlesh’s Amarwada Assembly segment. With Saxena in control of Chhindwara and forced to show his strength in his new party, it is highly likely that Nakul will not be depending on these segments. Instead, the Congress campaign was focused on Pandhurna, Parasia and Chaurai.

Amit Shah was in the region a couple of days ago and warned all BJP workers—old and new—against lethargy. His message was clear, the BJP wants all 29 seats this time. Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya is camped here and using all his political acumen for the desired results. One such tactic was to raid the Shikarpur Kothi of Kamal Nath for his assistant Miglani who handles almost everything for him. With Miglani temporarily neutralised, BJP is best placed to repeat its win in Chhindwara in 1997.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha Elections 2024:  Nearly 40% voter turnout till 1pm

Chennai recorded an average voter turnout of 34% as of 1 pm on Friday. According data released by the Election Commission of India, Chennai (North) recorded 35%, Chennai (Central) recorded 32.3% and Chennai (South) recorded 34%.

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The first phase of voting for the 18th Lok Sabha elections started taking place in 21 states and Union territories on Friday. Nearly 40% voter turnout was recorded till 1pm across the states. Seats in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry go to elections on Friday.

There has been a substantial increase in the voter turnout charts across the Northeast states, with Tripura leading at 53.04% until 1 pm, as per the data released by the Election Commission of India. Other northeast states like Manipur (46.92%) and Meghalaya (48.91%) are also witnessing high voter turnout. After Tripura, West Bengal is experiencing a high voter turnout of 50.96%.

Chennai recorded an average voter turnout of 34% as of 1 pm on Friday. According data released by the Election Commission of India, Chennai (North) recorded 35%, Chennai (Central) recorded 32.3% and Chennai (South) recorded 34%.

Over 33% voter turnout was recorded in the first 6 hours of voting on Friday in 12 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan. According to the Election Commission, voting started at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and 33.73 % voting took place till 1 pm. The highest voter turnout of 40.72 % was recorded in the Ganganagar Lok Sabha seat while Karauli-Dholpur saw the lowest turnout of 28.32 %. Jaipur recorded a poll percentage of 39.35 %.

Over 37 % voter turnout was recorded till 1 pm in the Lok Sabha election being held for five parliamentary constituencies in Uttarakhand on Friday. Elections began at 7 am and the five constituencies recorded an overall poll percentage of 37.33 % up to 1 pm. The Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat recorded the highest turnout of 40.46 %, followed by Haridwar with 39.41%, Pauri Garhwal with 36.60 %, Tehri Garhwal with 35.29 % and Almora with 32.29 %.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Amit Shah files nomination from Gandhinagar

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah was accompanied by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.

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Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah submitted his nomination today from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. During his nomination, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhuperndra Patel accompained him.

Former deputy prime minister and BJP chief LK Advani, who earlier served as a representative of this seat during Shah’s successful run for re-election.

Soon after filing nomination, Shah said, today he has submitted his nomination from the Gandhinagar seat. He said it is a matter of pride for him that this seat was represented by the former Prime Minister  Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and the seat where Narendra Modi himself is a voter. He also said he has been an MLA and MP from this seat for 30 years. The people of this region have given him immense love, Shah said.

With an astounding vote share of 69.67 percent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shah maintained the BJP’s stronghold in Gandhinagar with a resounding victory. Election turnout has been consistently high in the city.

In 1984–85, Amit Shah joined the BJP. His political skills and organizational prowess were recognized, and he soon became the national treasurer of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

Amit Shah’s political career took a significant turn in 1991.

Shah became the national president of the BJP in 2014, and he was promoted to the position of Home Minister five years later.

In the context of Indian politics, Gandhinagar is a historical landmark. The former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, won seats from Gandhinagar and Lucknow in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. However, he decided to stay to his Lucknow seat, opening the door for other leaders to set their mark in Gandhinagar.

Meanwhile, Congress has fielded its party secretary Sonal Patel from Gandhinagar.

Gujarat is scheduled to go for a single phase of elections on May 7. The results of the election will be announced on June 4.

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