The monsoon may be weaker than expected or hoped for, but it stopped Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from touring his state.
Mr Kumar, for the last four years, has been travelling to different districts including the latest Sewa Yatra which started in November last year, where he sets up camp for two or three days to interact with the public and get feedback on his administration. The "Sewa Yatra" or "tour in service of the people" was paused a few weeks ago because of the rain.
And from next month, he will hit road once again. And the chief minister will have a special item on his agenda. He wants to build public support ahead of a massive rally planned in Patna on November 6 to lobby for special category status for Bihar. The centre rejected his demand in May this year. The special status tag would entitle Bihar to large loans, financial assistance, and a concerted effort by the centre to boost private investment in Bihar.
This is the first political rally called by Mr Kumar's party, the Janata Dal (United) after it came to power in November 2005. Ministers and general secretaries in his party have already been assigned to educate voters about the demand for special status for their state. But Mr Kumar will tour all 38 districts himself over the next few weeks to lend the cause his star power.
He will also use the tour as a show of strength. There has been much speculation in recent months about the waning honeymoon between the chief minister and his ally, the BJP, with whom he co-governs the state. Mr Kumar's repeated remarks against BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi have fault-lined the relationship. Mr Kumar has warned that he will not be associated with the BJP if it picks Mr Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the general elections in 2014.