| Address of faith or fate'
Ranchi, Sept. 9: History is set to rerun at Hotel Ashok here. Buzzing with activities, it will be the hub of action when the fight for governance in Jharkhand reaches its peak in mid-September.
NDA legislators had occupied the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) hotel to topple Shibu Soren from the chief minister’s post and form the government. Barely 18 months later, it’s the turn of the UPA to “take charge” of the hotel to keep its flock together. For six days, it will turn into a fortress housing the legislators supporting the UPA and the rebel ministers.
From September 13 to 18, there is “no room” in the “lucky” hotel. UPA has booked all its 28 rooms and both the suites.
Believe it or not, NDA’s success to form the government toppling Soren from the chief minister’s post last year prompted the UPA decision to put up all its MLAs at the ITDC hotel. The rebel ministers of the NDA government — Madhu Koda, Anosh Ekka, Harinarayan Rai and Kamlesh Singh — are also expected to check in.
Koda, Ekka and Rai consider staying at Ashok lucky as they managed to pocket lucrative portfolios and play a key role in forming the Arjun Munda government from there last year. As the trio would play a crucial role when the political drama in the state reaches the climax, they have decided to repose faith in the Doranda hospitality address again. The only difference this time, though, is that Kamlesh is likely to join the trio. Last time, he had taken refuge to Apollo Hospital.
NDA had confined Koda, Ekka and Rai in the hotel to topple the Soren government last year. The hotel was converted into an impregnable fortress then. The BJP workers slept in the foyer and kept a close vigil on the arrival and departure of every person to and from the hotel.
Yet, some Congress leaders recall, Koda managed to meet a Congress MP and hold parleys with Soren. So, they have decided to tighten the “security” of the hotel further.
Besides the “lucky charm”, Hotel Ashok has some strategic advantages, too. It has two sprawling lawns and a huge parking space. If required, flanks of the road outside can serve as parking space. It is close to the airport as well as the Assembly.
Still, the luck factor remains the most significant reason behind UPA opting for this hotel. Koda and the gang expect to repeat their success story of March last year by checking in to the ITDC hotel.
The news of UPA legislators checking in to the hotel has worried the hotel staff, especially room attendants and waiters, though. The nightmarish experience they had during the stay of NDA leaders in the hotel is still fresh in their mind.
One of the waiters confided that he was frequently abused for not being able to serve the demanded food or beverages in a jiffy.