When a tragedy occurs in a poll-bound state, does it help the people more or the politicians? Apparently, it seems such occurrences help the people's cause as the political parties, including their national leaderships, do not take the risk of ignoring the people no matter how localised an event is. [Over 100 killed in Kerala temple fire]
But actually, it is the other way round as the tragedy and the media coverage that follows give ample opportunity to the political parties, particularly those looking for an opportunity to cement their place in the states where they have not been traditionally strong. [Over 20 killed in Kolkata flyover collapse]
A tragedy becomes a bonus opportunity for political campaigning.
We have seen it both in Kolkata and Kollam in last 11 days since both cities are located in two poll-bound states where the mercury of electioneering is rising as fast as the heat. [Kerala temple fire: No lessons learnt from Malanada incident]
Modi took stock of situation in Kolkata from US, Rahul rushed to spot
In the wake of the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Kolkata on March 31 which led to the death of over 25 people, almost all parties plunged into the fray to extract the maximum political mileage.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation from the United States where he was then, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi even visited the spot and met those injured in the hospital. [Kollam temple fire: PM Modi announces compensation]
The top leaders apart, even local ones didn't spare any opportunity to make full use of the 'scope'. One Congress leader was even seen inspecting the place with a party flag draped around him.
Kerala tragedy, too, gives a scope to BJP, Cong top brass to reach out to state people
In Kerala, too, the Puttingal Temple fire tragedy has created a big opportunity for the right-wing fanatics to encash the temple sentiments. Twitter was already abuzz with thanking the prime minister for visiting the temple soon after the tragedy and blamed the UDF government of the state for 'appeasing the minorities and not taking care of the majority'.
In a state like Kerala which has become highly polarised, this is a perfect opportunity for the saffron camp to make a psychological impact by rushing in with all help and assistance.
PM's visit to the spot will do wonders for Kerala BJP
The PM's visit to the spot, something he perhaps would also have done had he been India when the flyover collapsed in Kolkata, will do wonders for the BJP cadres and take the winds out of the sails of both the UDF and LDF. Till now, the political fight is less open in Kerala compared to what happened in Kolkata but one can certainly feel the competitive mood.
But what about the administrative callousness that leads to these disasters?
But apart from the political strategising, do these tragedies have any aftereffect once the election gets over? Do we really care about the violation of norms and the administrative failures that mostly lead to these disasters? [Fireworks displaye despite restrictions]
Human life is lost cheaply in this country under almost all governments, because of administrative callousness. But every time, a disaster gets reduced to a political blame game with the naked desire to get the maximum political benefit, especially if it is before the elections.