Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday tried to downplay the camp of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs from Maharashtra in his state, saying all “tourists” are welcome there. Sarma also said that he has nothing to do with Maharashtra politics, where the survival of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government is at stake after 38 MLAs of his party revolted and are currently flying in several flights. Camping in a hotel in Guwahati.
“Some people have come to Assam. They have booked hotels. I am happy with it. You also come, it will help the economy of Assam. It will help the economy of Assam. Assam’s tourism is also getting a boost.” His nominations at the Parliament Complex here. Asked about the ongoing political developments in Maharashtra, he said he cannot comment on it as it is a big state.
“How can I comment on Maharashtra. It is a big state. I am happy that people are choosing Assam as their favorite destination,” he said. Responding to claims that his BJP-led government is allegedly ignoring flood relief works and is busy hosting MLAs from Maharashtra, the Chief Minister said that he would like to visit hotels in the Assam capital due to floods in some parts of the state. Cannot order closure.
“I don’t know what is the mindset of these people. Should I shut down the hotels in Guwahati as there is flood in some parts of the state? We are providing relief to the flood affected people. How can I close down the hotels in Guwahati? Am?” If tomorrow you decide to come and stay for 10 days in a hotel in Guwahati, should I say that you should not come.” He said, “We have spent so much money to promote tourism, (we say Travel to Kamakhya, visit Kaziranga, now should I stop people who have come to Assam,” he said.
Asked whether Shiv Sena MLAs were held “hostage” in Assam, Sarma said: “What kind of hostage? They are in a hotel. They are happy. They are our guests. Normally. We will see if everyone coming to Assam is there. Comfortable”. When asked about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal that Maharashtra MLAs should come to her state, Sarma hit back saying Banerjee wanted to snatch “Lakshmi” who had come to Assam.
“There is always competition between Assam and Bengal on tourism. Mamta di wanted to snatch ‘Lakshmi’ who came in my place. If they go to Bengal, Bengal will get GST. I want to tell Mamata di who People want to come to Assam, at least spare them. Don’t snatch them. Your state is a big state.”
Sarma also lauded the NDA’s decision to nominate Murmu as its presidential candidate and called him “an able administrator and social worker” who has the experience of being ministers, governors and teachers.
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