banerjee: Why send MLAs to flooded Assam? Banerjee slams BJP

The number of Shiv Sena MLAs who have joined rebel leader Eknath Shinde in a five-star hotel in Guwahati went up to 37 late on Thursday. Shinde needs at least 37 MLAs for avoiding disqualification under the anti-defection law. Apart from the rebel Sena legislators, Shinde is believed to have the support of 7 more MLAs, Independents and those belonging to smaller parties.

Security in the hotel remained tight and entry was restricted. Guwahati police commissioner Harmeet Singh reviewed the security arrangement of the hotel in the outskirts of the city. Assam’s cabinet minister Ashok Singhal visited the hotel too. Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma too met the MLAs. When asked by journalists about his visit Sangma said: “Every time before I go to Delhi, I drop here for a cup of tea.”

Trinamool Congress workers, meanwhile, held protests outside the hotel even as West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee slammed BJP for ‘bulldozing democracy’ by trying to topple the Maharashtra government led by Uddhav Thackeray.

“The ruling party at the Center is purchasing MLAs. It is shocking to see such a thing,” Banerjee said. “They are sending MLAs to Assam when the people of the state are suffering due to the flood. Instead of Assam, send them to Bengal and I will provide hospitality and show them what democracy is like,” Banerjee said. “Isn’t it a scam that one ruling party is purchasing people using money? Where is democracy in India? We want justice for the electoral mandate … after Maharashtra, they will topple other governments too … If you can topple other governments, your governments can be toppled as well, “she said.

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