Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, accused of aiding a coup against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray by hosting rebel Shiv Sena MLAs in Guwahati, today once again brushed off the allegations, saying that his "priority" were the people of Assam.
"People in Assam know my priority. People are extremely happy with the government. People monitoring the situation know that I am on the field 24 hours," Mr Sarma told NDTV from Silsar where he went to oversee relief work.
"This is my second visit to Silchar. Our priority is to restore electricity. I think Barak river is also swelling. Unless there is no fresh rain, I am hopeful in next 24 hours situation will be much better for the people of Silchar," he said.
The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Sunday with over 40 lakh people affected in 34 districts of the state. Silchar in Cachar district is among the worst-affected areas.
As many as 2.33 lakh have taken shelter in 637 relief camps of the northeastern state, which had been battling floods and landslides for the past two weeks.
Despite the devastating floods, nearly 40 rebel MLAs from Uddhav Thackeray's party have been camping at a five-star hotel in Guwahati.
Though the BJP has denied the accusation of engineering an "Operation Lotus", a young MP, known to be close to Mr Sarma, is reported to be in touch with the rebels, sources told NDTV.
At least three Assam BJP ministers are also closely overseeing logistical matters at the Guwahati hotel, they added.
Earlier, when asked about the MLAs, Mr Sarma has said that he was "happy" as the MLAs were helping promote tourism in Assam.
"Some people have come to Assam. They booked hotels. I am happy for that. You also come; it will help Assam's economy. Through this, Assam's tourism is also getting promoted," he said.
"Should I shut down Guwahati's hotels because there is flood in some part of the state. We are providing relief to the flood affected people. How can I shut the hotels in Guwahati. If tomorrow, you decide to come and stay in a hotel in Guwahati for 10 days, as a CM, should I say that you should not come," he added.