Social Distancing or Political Distancing?
The PM’s visit to the flood affected districts of Bengal has produced an unusual photograph (above). It shows Mamata 6-10 feet ahead of PM Modi (Unusual had it been normal circumstance). A need of the times due to COVID-19. Yet, it is symbolic of their politics as well, quite far from each other.
CM Mamata and PM Modi share an unusual relationship where politically they are aggressive rivals while privately Mamata sends Kurtas and Sweets to the PM. Interestingly, he revealed that she started doing that after she found out that Sheikh Hasina was doing the same.
Mamata Banerjee who is 4 years PM Modi’s junior formed her own party in 1998, 3 years before Narendra Modi became CM of Gujarat. She became CM first in 2011, 3 years before Modi became the Prime Minister. They have an intense election coming up next year but the PM’s visit is not unusual as in that he always visits cyclone hit areas a day or two after it happens.