Hotel Lily in Guwahati
Guwahati, March 17: As many as 19 MLAs from the ruling BJP-led alliance in Manipur are camping in a hotel here and will return to Imphal a day before the floor test on Monday.
The group has 17 BJP MLAs, one Trinamul and one Independent. They had created a flutter with their arrival here on Thursday, a day after N. Biren Singh took oath as the first BJP chief minister of Manipur despite the party finishing second to Congress. The Congress had won 28 of the 60 seats to the BJP's 21. The BJP is being supported by the National People's Party (4), Naga People's Front (4) and the Lok Janshakti Party (1).
Newly elected MLA and party secretary Susindro Meitei told The Telegraph that their being here had nothing to do with the floor test.
"We are here on an official trip. We are meeting party leaders who contributed to our victory and are visiting our offices here as most of us are new. We had a meeting with party general secretary in charge of Northeast Ajay Jamwal ji. Tomorrow Ram Madhavji is coming. There are 19 MLAs in Guwahati," said Meitei, who identified himself as the leader of the group.
He said they would leave on Sunday, a day before the floor test.
Party insiders said the ruling BJP flew out the MLAs as they did not want "any surprise" sprung before or during the floor test by the Congress which was eyeing a fourth straight term before getting pipped at the post.
The group has booked 24 rooms in the hotel where security is tight but unobtrusive. Two Assam BJP MLAs have been deployed to "look" after them, sources said.