Radisson Blu in Guwahati has hosted VIPs in the past, but none of those experiences could have prepared for the kind of attention it is receiving now. It is about 3,000 km from Mumbai, but the luxury hotel is where the political future of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena and Thackeray is being written.
And the one who wields the mighty pen is Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde. Arriving in Guwahati from Surat on Wednesday, Shinde and his 30 camps reached the hotel. Soon, their numbers increased. The rebel faction, which has been demanding that Thackeray walk out of the alliance with the Congress and the NCP, has now been asked to include more than 40 MLAs besides Shinde.
Located on the outskirts of Guwahati, the hotel soon turned into a fort and the entry of media persons was banned. The Assam Police took over security from the hotel’s private guards and only vehicles and guests on the hotel’s list were being allowed inside.
“We’ve never seen anything like this. We’re checking every single person,” a staff member told News18 on condition of anonymity.
The hotel has become a ‘war room’ for the Eknath Shinde camp, which has stuck to its demand to leave the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi alliance despite Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s emotional appeal and offer to leave before leaving the official residence.
Assam BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das and MLA Sushant Borgohain received disgruntled MLAs at the Guwahati International Airport on Wednesday morning. “The MLAs are known to us. They came here and we greeted them as a courtesy,” Borgohain told the media.
Speaking to the media, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “Forty people had come to Assam. This is good. We will be happy if more people come. Hardly any tourists come during this time. Some of our colleagues are there (along with Maharashtra MLAs). If I get time, I will meet him. For the time being I am going to oversee the flood relief activities.
The Congress has criticized the Assam Chief Minister for “conspiracy” to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra at a time when Assam is ravaged by floods.
Assam Congress President Bhupen Kumar Bora alleged that some 40 Maharashtra MLAs were held in Guwahati for ransom. “Sharma is involved in a shameful act,” the Congress leader said.
“The Chief Minister should concentrate on his work and provide adequate relief to the flood affected people of Assam. He can do his politics later, not when people are crying for government support,” Bora tweeted.
with agency input
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