As the flood situation worsened in Bihar, Union minister Ashwini Choubey on Monday said it was a "natural calamity" and blamed a particular constellation for the heavy downpour.
"The downpour, which has been lashing Bihar for the past few days, is because of the Hathiya Nakshatra (constellation), during which sometimes there is a very heavy rainfall. The rains have now taken the form of a natural disaster," he said on the sidelines of an event.
Ashwini Choubey said the BJP-JD(U) coalition government in Bihar, the district administrations and the disaster management department of the state were carrying out round-the-clock rescue operations and working rigorously to deal with the situation.
"The entire state government, including the chief minister and his team, is monitoring the situation closely. It is committed to providing relief to those facing a tough time because of the incessant rains," the Union minister of state for health and family welfare, who is from Bihar, said.
In what the weather department said could be the longest-delayed withdrawal of monsoon, rain continued in several states including Bihar, where at least 25 people have been killed, with large swathes flooded, affecting railway traffic, healthcare services, schools and power supply.