Jaipur: When the rain-ravaged settlement of Madrampura in Jaipur was cleaned up overnight, residents could not believe their eyes. It was later that they realised that the goodwill of the city administration was nothing but efforts to impress Congress President Sonia Gandhi during her visit to the place.
The once-deserted settlement, which only had the Army helping out with the relief work, suddenly saw a motorcade of government cars and a retinue of officials, all in a seeming hurry to spruce up the place.
For the people of Madrampura, it was all cosmetic. Meera, a resident of Mohana in Jaipur, said, "This is just a tableau which has been set up... no one is concerned about the poor or they would have come earlier..."
For Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, however, the plight of the rain-hit victims came later. First and foremost on his agenda was sprucing up of Madrampura for Sonia's visit. He even said, "I'm here to oversee the preparations before our leader Sonia Gandhi visits Madrampura like I did in Barmer."
Buoyed by the sprucing up of the lightning-quick settlement, those who were waiting to share their pain with Sonia were left disappointed.
Sonia said the people had shared their stories with her and that a solution to their problems would be found soon. "They have told me they have nowhere to go and the situation is bad here. We will find a solution to that," she said.
However, the key problem the people have here is this: If a settlement could be fixed overnight just short of Sonia Gandhi's visit, what made the local administration ignore the plight of its people for so long earlier?