Several MLAs of MVA coalition have been taking shelter in a hotel in Guwahati since June 22. Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told mediapersons, “Why will the Assam government pay for those people staying here. Those staying will pay the bill for their stay and one can file RTI, those making allegations that Assam government will pay the bill have limited knowledge.”
Sarma said, “I have nothing to do if BJP supports the Shiv Sena rebels or not. These MLAS coming is good for us. We are getting money in the form of tax. My work is to provide everyone a comfortable stay and even people from Congress party will come and we will provide them a comfortable stay.”
He added, “The MLAs or people from Maharashtra who are here are not that poor; they cannot pay their hotel bills.”
The chief minister said that he is not aware of the Maharashtra issue. “If we send back people from hotels how will things run.”
Opposition parties Congress and Aam Aadmi party (AAP)protested outside the hotel on Friday. Congress has asked the MLAs to leave Assam as the state is reeling under flood.
He said that there is no Maharashtra context here. There are people in different hotels. “There is no harm in BJP leaders going to hotels, leaders go and have tea in different hotels.”
Since June 22 chartered flights from Surat are landing in Guwahati airport carrying the rebel MLAs to a luxury hotel in the outskirts of the city, which is 24 km away from the international airport.
Sources told ET, “Since June 22, 70 rooms have been booked for seven days. Fresh booking is not taken. Only the guests from airlines with which the hotel has long term arrangements are entertained besides the over 45 MLAs from Maharashtra.”
Sources said, “The room tariff is around Rs 7000 and roughly Rs 490,000 will be spent on tariff per day. This happens to be the lean season for the hotel as prior to June 22 the presence of guests was not much, discounts may be offered.”
Some BJP leaders from Assam are camping in the hotel which is turned into an impregnable fortress with deployment of Assam police commandos.
Raijor Dal leader Akhil Gogoi said that they will chase out the Maharashtra MLAs. Sarma said, “Who is working in the hotel, it is Assamese youths, why will we chase out the guests. Gogoi wants unemployment and wants Assam to be in a crisis, we want to bring wealth to Assam.”
The chief minister said that as Shiv Sena MLAs are here the context of Assam flood is highlighted. “From now on whenever there is flood in Assam some MLAS from outside must come so that floods get highlighted.”
The flood in Assam has resulted in the death of 118 people and Silchar town in the Cachar district is still submerged. Over 45.34 lakh in 30 districts were affected.