As many as 22 candidates of the opposition alliance in Assam have been flown to Jaipur and sequestered in a hotel for "safekeeping" amid fears that the BJP may try to lure them away ahead of election results due next month, sources said on Friday.
The candidates from the Congress-led opposition alliance known as Mahajot are from the Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
"On (May) 2nd, results will be in our favour. We will win. When we start winning, even BJP MLAs will connect with us," Mr Ajmal said.
They have been kept in the same Fairmont resort in the capital city of Congress-ruled Rajasthan where the its MLAs were holed up last July during the party's internal crisis.
"It's now a trend since the BJP tries to break the Congress after losing elections. So they (allies) want to take guard," Congress's Randeep Singh Surjewala said, confirming the developments.
Mahesh Joshi, Congress's chief whip in the Rajasthan Assembly told news agency ANI, "We will take care of people coming here. We don't know their parties and why they've come here. There are around 20 people. Congress will bear expenses. Till BJP is in centre, there will always be a possibility of buying MLAs."
While the dramatic transfer unfolded between Assam and Rajasthan, Assam minister and BJP's northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma was on a visit to a famous temple in Tripura. "The BJP alliance will get 84 seats and win Assam," he said, confidently. Assam has 126 assembly seats.
Assam, where the BJP came to power in the last elections, voted for a new government in three phases between March 27 and April 6. The results are due on May 2 along with those for polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
These were the first election in northeast after the Congress was ousted from the region and for the first time, the Congress is not going solo in the state. It has forged the Mahajot or "Grand Alliance" - a 10-party coalition consisting of the AIUDF, Jimochayan (Deori) People's Party (JDPP), Adivasi National Party (ANP), CPM, CPI, CPI (ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha, Bodoland People's Party (BPF) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Neither of the two fronts has announced a Chief Minister candidate. While the BJP has promised to protect the rights, land culture, language of the indigenous communities of Assam against settlers of Bangladeshi origin, the Congress made the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) its main poll issue, vowing to roll it back.