Assam Minister Ashok Singhal visited the luxury hotel in Guwahati, where dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is camping with other MLAs from Maharashtra, and held a discussion with them, sources said on Sunday.
A source close to the development told PTI that the Housing and Urban Affairs of Assam went to the hotel late Saturday night and held discussions with Shinde and the other rebel MLAs.
It is, however, not immediately known what Singhal discussed with the rebel Shiv Sena legislators and Independent MLAs from the western state.
When contacted, Singhal confirmed that he had gone to the hotel, but declined to share details.
However, a close associate of the minister told PTI, “He went there to meet an MLA whom he knew. He was there for some time and had a cup of tea.” It is significant that the meeting took place just hours after 16 dissident MLAs were sent disqualification notices.
The BJP, which once had an alliance with the Shiv Sena, has so far brushed its hands off from the present political turmoil in Maharashtra.
Despite sending a party MP and one MLA to receive the legislators at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati on June 22, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that dissidents came as guests on their own to the state.
The Assam Police has taken over the security from the private guards of the hotel and is not allowing anyone to enter the premises.
The Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat on Saturday issued ‘summons’ to 16 of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, seeking written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification.
After receiving the summons, the Shiv Sena MLAs have been huddling inside the hotel Since Sunday morning, sources said.
“They are discussing various options to respond to the notices. The current political situation is being deliberated in the meeting,” the source said.
In what seems to be an apparent bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (MVA) in Maharashtra, dissident legislators of Shiv Sena, which heads the ruling coalition, are camping in Guwahati, around 2,700 km away.