Congress general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, has once again put the Uttar Pradesh government in a piquant situation by travelling unannounced in a second class compartment on the Lokmanya Tilak Express train running between Gorakhpur and Mumbai on October 18.
It was only 10 days later on Thursday that senior officials of the state realised how the Congress celebrity had given each one of them a slip.
As if to cover up a serious failure of their intelligence network, the police top brass said, “We did come to know of his boarding the train at the Gorakhpur railway station, but there was no trace of him after that.”
Sources, however, maintained that the entire state administration was completely clueless about Rahul’s train travel like a commoner. “UP officials woke up from their slumber only after a state TV channel started running a scroll on the basis of an information fed by a fellow passenger, who was only too excited about having the scion of the country’s number one political family for company in a second class train coach," remarked a key central intelligence sleuth who confessed that even he was equally ignorant about the VVIP’s visit.
Both the state governmentand the Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders learnt about Rahul's unusual train journey only after a TV channel flashed the news Thursday.Reacting to the incident, a senior police official remarked,“We have decided not to react as this person is in the habit of playing gimmicks."
“We have been writing repeatedly to the union government to restrain their leader from travelling through UP without prior information since he is an SPG (Special Protection Group) protected leader. But if he continues to defy all security protocol in this callous manner, what is the point in sending letters to anybody?” he asked, pleading anonymity.
Meawhile, unconfirmed reports said Rahul "undertook the journey not only to have a taste of the travails of a common Indian train passenger, but to also get a first hand feedback on the life of millions whose livelihood was completely dependent on moving from the poverty-ridden rural expanse of eastern Uttar Pradesh to the dazzle of Mumbai.