Recce floods, welcome tourists too: Sarma’s mantra as opposition criticizes Assam’s role in Maharashtra crisis

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Assam Congress Speaker Bhupen Bora said at a time when people are dying in the state due to floods, the Chief Minister is busy offering hospitality to MPs from Maharashtra.

File image of Himanta Biswa Sarma. Twitter @himantabiswa

As Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray pulls out all the stops to save his government from the rebellion of top Sena leader Eknath Shinde, the BJP is closely monitoring events in the state but has refrained from overt gestures.

The presence of the Saffron Festival at Assam’s Gopinath Bordoloi Airport to receive the Shiv Sena rebels and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s visit to the Radisson Blu – and quick exit – before the rebels arrived all make allusion to the strategy of the BJP.

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News18 previously reported that BJP sources say the ruling Center party views Assam as safe since the BJP is dominant there and the Sena or Uddhav Thackeray cannot wield influence in the state. Also, insiders say the chief minister is able to run the operation smoothly.

However, the “hospitality” of the BJP was not well received by the Congress and the TMC, especially following the floods in Assam. Attacking the BJP, Assam Congress Speaker Bhupen Bora said at a time when 88 people had died in the state due to flooding and many were homeless, the Chief Minister offered hospitality to MPs who want to oust the government of Maharashtra.

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Taking to Twitter, the TMC said:

No electricity.

Nope Clean drinking water .

No effective crisis management.

No attention to people’s suffering.

No leader in sight, standing next to the people.

Only 40 deputies from a different state. @BJP4Assam indulges in petty politics alongside the most INSENSITIVE CM @himantabiswa!

For its part, the BJP handled the optics, with Sarma carrying out reconnaissance of the flooded areas of Naugaon for an entire day.

Speaking on the matter, Sarma said, “Why should there be any reason for controversy regarding their visit? We urge all tourists to visit Assam now as we need funds to deal with the floods.”

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Minister Piyush Hazarika said: “The opposition can say whatever it wants. From morning to night, our Chief Minister and other ministers were there with those affected by the floods. Those who came from Maharashtra, we welcome them, but our objective is obviously the floods.

Party insiders say BJP Assam is focusing on floods as Operation Maharashtra remains secret.

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