As Assam Hotel Hosts Sena Mutiny, Questions On Flooded Streets

The state is currently facing its second wave of floods, with 28 out of the 35 districts in the state affected. 117 people have lost their lives and over 33 lakh have been affected since April.

117 people have died in floods and landslides since April this year.

Guwahati/Silchar:

Assam is now at the centre of two major events -- one a power struggle involving Maharashtra legislators and the other, a struggle for survival for lakhs of people hit by devastating floods.

About 33 lakh people across 28 out of the state's 35 districts have been affected by floods since April this year. 117 people have died in floods and landslides since April this year.  About 80 per cent of Silchar, the state's second largest city, is submerged as people struggle for food and water supply.

Against this backdrop, the Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati has become the centre of a power struggle within the Shiv Sena, part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra.

Sena rebel and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde has claimed support of a majority of the party's MLAs and the crisis is threatening to toppled the Maharashtra government.

While Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has maintained that this is an internal struggle of Sena, sightings of state ministers and BJP leaders at the Guwahati hotel suggest otherwise.

As the NDTV hit the flooded streets in Silchar, many residents questioned the priorities of the BJP-led state government.

"Assam is drowning and ministers are being brought here from Maharashtra and being kept in a five-star hotel for horse trading? Is this what the Assam government is?" a resident asked.

Another said Chief Minister Sarma must visit the submerged areas where people are stuck inside their homes.

"We want the chief minister to come here and assess the situation. There are so many people who are trapped here because of the floods. He needs to help them right now. People are not being able to leave their homes," the resident said.

In Guwahati, opposition parties led by the Congress staged a protest against the BJP-led government. They demanded that the Maharashtra MLAs be sent back and the government focus on managing the floods.

Responding to questions from the media, Mr Sarma said, "Should I shut down Guwahati's hotels because there is flood in some part of the state. We have spent so much money to promote tourism, should I stop those who have come to Assam?"

There is a massive shortage of water, food and medicines in the flood-hit areas as National Disaster Response Force teams work overtime. The Indian Air Force has been air dropping essential supplies too.

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