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Not spending money on Maharashtra MLAs: Assam CM

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. File

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. File | Photo Credit: PTI

GUWAHATI

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday refuted the claim that the State government was paying for the food and accommodation of dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping at a five-star hotel in Guwahati since June 22.

At least 40 MLAs at the hotel are led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

“Why should the Assam government settle their hotel bills? Assam is not spending anything on them. File an RTI, you will know it,” Mr. Sarma said.

“I don’t think the Maharashtra MLAs are facing such a difficulty that we have to take care of their hotel expenses,” he added.

Mr. Sarma said he was not following the Maharashtra politics and cited an Assamese proverb to prove his point. The proverb literally means: “It is useless for a ginger trader to keep track of ships.”

He also justified the frequent visits by some Assam BJP leaders to the hotel. “Our leaders go to other hotels too. I will also go there if I feel like having a cup of tea,” he said.

After State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah, Raijor Dal president and MLA Akhil Gogoi demanded that the Maharashtra legislators should go back.

“He is trying to render the Assamese youth, who work at the hotel, jobless. His agenda is to let business suffer and people lose their jobs so that he can make the most of starting an agitation,” Mr. Sarma said.

Flood relief

On the floods, the Chief Minister said the State government was carrying out relief and rescue operations with central funds.

“We have not had to spend the State’s funds so far,” he said amid criticisms of the Centre for not announcing any flood relief package for Assam.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, four more people, including two children died on Saturday to take the death toll due to floods and landslides to 121 since April.

The number of districts has come down to 27 from a high of 35, but 10.3 lakh people are still affected across 2,894 villages and three urban centres, especially the southern Assam town of Silchar.


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Printable version | Jul 16, 2022 11:03:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/not-spending-money-on-maharashtra-mlas-assam-cm/article65564851.ece