Eknath Shinde to be Maharashtra chief minister
Eknath Shinde

Guwahati: All eyes are fixed on a luxury hotel in the outskirts of Guwahati, from where Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and his coterie of MLAs are manoeuvering the fate of the Maharashtra government, but its tall gates are bolted tight from within and the happenings inside are shrouded in secrecy.

The hotel is not making any fresh bookings for the next one week as ”we are fully occupied”, a hotel staff told PTI.

Asked whether any booking can be made for any day after the next week, he said that he could not comment on that.

Even before the employee could be asked about the activities of the MLAs inside the hotel, he said, ”Please, do not question me about them. I cannot say anything related to them”.

The hotel has 196 rooms and during an online search for bookings during the next few days, the response was: ”There are no available rooms for these dates”.

Another hotel staff said that it is booked as the four-day Ambubachi Mela at the famed Kamakhya Temple atop the Nilachal Hills has begun.

A huge posse of policemen has been posted in and around the hotel with senior police officers seen managing the security bandobast.

Top police officials, too, remained tight-lipped about the guests inside the hotel and tight security arrangements.

Media persons are camping outside the hotel since Wednesday when the Maharashtra politicians reached here but none have been allowed to go inside the hotel.

The Congress staged a demonstration near the hotel during the day asking Shinde and other MLAs to leave the state which is reeling under devastating floods which have claimed 108 lives and affected a population of nearly 46 lakh.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier said there should not be any reason for controversy regarding their visit.

He said, We welcome all tourists to visit the state now as we need funds to deal with the devastating floods. Why should we turn away Goddess Lakshmi when most of our hotels are empty or have low occupancy?

Shinde and the other legislators have been staying at the hotel since Wednesday morning after they arrived from Surat by a chartered flight. They were received at the airport by BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das and legislator Sushanta Borgohain.

The Maharashtra MLAs were driven to the hotel in three buses of the Assam State Transport Corporation amid tight security.

The Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra is facing a crisis following the dissidence of a section of its MLA led by Shinde.

Also read | Assam floods: Silchar remains under water, toll rises to 108

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