Rahul Gandhi's "no politics please" remark in Kolkata was in itself a political one

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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday visited the place in North Kolkata where a huge chunk of a flyover collapsed on Thursday (March 31), killing 24 people besides injuring many and destroying properties.

Rahul also met the injured admitted in the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital and said he went to Kolkata to extend support to the victims and added that he did not want to allow politics a chance at such moment of a grave tragedy. [Kolkata has seen major tragedies under both Left, TMC govts]

kolkata flyover collapse

Sorry Mr Rahul, you are trying to hide your real intention under feel-good talks. That he did not want to make any political remark at such hour was misleading because the very purpose of his trip to West Bengal was to address election rallies in three places and that is purely political. [Left accuses TMC of stopping blood bank after flyover collapse]

The problem with India's politicians is that they try to crashgate at times of tragedy without actually feeling for the feelings genuinely. Big tragedies have happened in Kolkata in the past as well. How many times did we see Rahul Gandhi visiting the spot and consoling the victims?

National leaders aim to capitalise on local issues ahead of high-stake election 

This West Bengal election has become such a fierce battle for prestige that even the national leaders of the two national parties which are otherwise also-ran in the state have come down to the local level to get some mileage. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephones Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from Washington offering all possible help after teh disaster, now it is the turn of Rahul Gandhi to also chip in to bring the Congress in the reckoning.

But no matter how much they try to make the most out of the flyover disaster just a few days ahead of the high-stake election, the BJP and the Congress are not going to get much benefit from this, eapecially the latter.

How many times has Rahul visited victims of local disasters in non-poll times?


The BJP may still get the blessing of the non-Bengal speaking residents living in and around the spot for the incident has really rattled lives of many and then can vote against the ruling Trinamool Congress out of an instant anger, but it is unlikely that the Congress will make any big gain in Kolkata where the TMC has a complete dominance.

In the late 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi vigorously tried to revive Congress in post-MGR TN but couldn't

Rahul Gandhi needs to understand that just flying in and out of distant states is not going to help his party improve its election tally there. Ahead of the 1989 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, his later father Rajiv Gandhi had made over 30 visits to Tamil Nadu in the wake of the death of MG Ramachandran to revive the Congress in that state but it didn't pay off.

To tap local issues, the national parties need to have a robust local organisation in place and can't expect its top brass to utilise them in their favour. But the Congress, with its poor organisational strength in South Bengal, is in no position to do so.

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