Kolkata, May 12 (IANS) Rains and storm played havoc with the preparations for Wednesday's Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, and could affect the polling process with the weatherman Tuesday evening forecasting thundershowers in the next 24 hours.
'It was a norwester (a type of storm common in the state at this time of the year). And it is likely to pour for another 24 hours in most parts of West Bengal and Sikkim,' a met office spokesman told IANS.
The rains, which began in the morning, blew away a temporary shed at a distribution centre in South 24 Parganas meant for Kultali, Mathurapur, Gosaba and Jaynagar assembly segments, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Debasish Sen told reporters here.
'The shed fell on some polling officials and police personnel, who were soon rescued. This delayed the dispatch of materials and personnel to the four areas,' Sen said.
In Kolkata, the polling staff reported late at the distribution centre housed in the Netaji Indoor Stadium. 'Eventually, the dispatch of polling personnel and materials got delayed,' he said.
In Kultali and Jaynagar, the storm uprooted trees blocking the roads, thus stalling movement of the polling parties. 'Now trees are being removed. And the movement of polling party has started,' Sen confirmed.
Eleven West Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies go to the hustings Wednesday.