The Guwahati hotel is transformed into a fortress; Shinde claims the support of 40 rebel MPs |
Guwahati, June 22 (IANS) With the deployment of a large number of security personnel, a luxury hotel in Guwahati turned into a fortress on Wednesday as several rebel Shiv Sena MPs from Maharashtra led by Minister of State Eknath Shinde camped there, putting the existence of the government of Maharashtra headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. under the threat.
Media entry to the hotel was barred, where Assam Police took over security from the hotel’s private guards.
After arriving in Guwahati via Surat on Wednesday morning, Shinde claimed that 40 MPs accompanied him to Assam, all devoted to the “Hindutva” ideology of the late Balasaheb Thackeray.
Shinde along with 32 Shiv Sena MPs and seven other lawmakers, including independents and members of smaller parties, arrived in Guwahati on Wednesday morning and checked into the luxury hotel on the outskirts of Guwahati.
“Thirty-nine deputies accompanied me. We are loyal to the ‘Hindutva’ ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray and we are keen to carry it forward,” the dissident Shiv Sena leader said, declining to divulge details of their future course of action.
He however stated categorically that they would not leave the party.
When asked by reporters why they came to BJP-ruled Assam, Pat told Shinde, “It’s a nice place.”
A BJP leader on condition of anonymity claimed that three other Shiv Sena-backing independent lawmakers arrived here on Wednesday night.
With the latest developments, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Shiv Sena in Maharashtra appears to be stumbling on the brink of possible collapse.
The Shiv Sena, which leads the MVA, has 55 MPs, followed by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) allies at 53 and Congress at 44 in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
Earlier, the dissident lawmakers were received at Guwahati International Airport by Assam BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das and MP Sushanta Borgohain.
After landing at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, the rebel MPs were taken to the hotel on the outskirts of the city in three luxury Assam State Transport Corporation buses, escorted by police.
With the deployment of a large security contingent led by senior officers, tight security has been put in place in and around the hotel.
It was the first time rebel deputies from outside the region had been brought to the northeast.
“The deputies are known to us. They came here and we received them out of courtesy,” Borgohain told the media.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “40 people have come to Assam. Its good. We are happy if more people come. We hardly have any tourists during this period.
“Some of our colleagues are there (along with MPs from Maharashtra). I’ll meet them if I find the time today or tomorrow. Currently, I will oversee flood relief activities.
The Congress, for its part, has slammed Assam’s chief minister for “conspiring” to bring down the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra at a time when the people of Assam are in grave distress due to devastating floods.
Assam Congress Speaker Bhupen Kumar Borah claimed that around 40 MPs from Maharashtra had been held for ransom in Guwahati.
“Sarma is involved in a disgraceful act,” the Congress leader said.
“The Chief Minister should focus on his own work and provide adequate aid to those affected by the Assam floods. He can do his politics later, not when people are crying out for government support,” Borah tweeted.