Hotel Mittal Avenue - where
Uttarkhand MLAs have reportedly been lodged, has been turned
into a fort
Bhopal: After being pipped at the
post in the just concluded Vidhan Sabha elections in Uttarakhand
and denied to continue to hold reins of power, the national
leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the wake of
the fear of poaching has reportedly airlifted its state MLAs to temple town
of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
About two dozen Uttarakhand MLAs, who were airlifted to Indore and
then driven to Ujjain and housed at a luxurious hotel on Thursday
noon in a hushed manner, gave an impression of being virtually
kept as “hostage” amid tight security arrangements. The Madhya
Pradesh and local party functionaries, including State president
Prabhat Jha and organising general secretary Arvind Menon, were
deputed to make sure of proper arrangements for the MLAs.
It may be mentioned here that the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand state
lost power after many years as it managed to secure just 31 seats,
one less than the Opposition Congress party which won 32 in the
70-member legislative assembly, the elections to which were
conducted recently. Besides this, there are three BSP MLAs and
four independents who have reportedly extended their support to
the Congress. Since the Congress having emerged as the single
largest party there, the state Governor offered it to form its
government and accordingly Vijay Bahuguna was sworn-in as Chief
Minister on March 15 last. The session of the new Uttarakhand
assembly will begin on March 26, and Bahuguna would have to prove
his majority on March 29.
The political activities have been at peak both at Delhi and
Dehradun in the wake of the dissidence shown by the Congress
Uttarakhand strongman and Union minister Harish Rawat. It is also
learnt that a number of BJP MLAs are also in touch with Rawat and
Congress leaders and moreover some of them have also expressed
resentment at the BJP leaderships decision not to make a claim for
forming a government.
According to sources BJP national general secretary and
newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Thawar Chand Gehlot, who is also
in-charge of Uttarakhand, played a crucial role to shift the MLAs
from Uttarakhand to Ujjain as he belongs to Nagda (district Ujjain).
It was not a mere coincidence that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister
Shivraj Singh Chouhan paid an "unscheduled" visit to Ujjain on the
same afternoon. He was at Mumbai in the morning in connection with
health problems of his wife Sadhana Singh and arrived at Indore
en-route Ujjain in a special plane.
Meanwhile, over two dozen Uttarakhand MLAs descended at Indore
Airport at about 12 noon and they were straight away ferried to
Ujjain through the Super Corridor. Sources disclosed that a
private travel agency of Indore was informed through the RTO
office to provide a full 27- seater AC bus which was parked at
Indore City BJP vice- president Ram Agrawal and another
functionary sat in the non-AC chamber of the bus (MP 09 FA 4422),
whereas about two dozen MLAs and Uttarakhand BJP president Bishan
Singh Chaupal sat in the AC coach. Only a couple of functionaries
of Ujjain were informed about their arrival and when they reached
near Nanakheda, these functionaries helped the bus driver to enter
the hotel Mittal Avenue. This is the same hotel where the BJP's
State executive committee meeting was organised last year. Chief
Minister Chouhan had inaugurated it.
According to local media reports the arrival and stay of the
Uttarakhand MLAs was kept a tight secret. Several armed police
jawans and police officers were deployed there from afternoon
under the leadership of CSP, Madhav Nagar, Rajesh Sahay.
Eye-witnesses said he was seen personally checking the identity of
all those persons who were trying to enter the hotel. When being
asked by the media persons, he only said that such a huge force
has been deployed there as playback singer Anuradha Paudhwal also
stayed in the hotel and the government has given her the State
Sources said that by 6 pm, City BJP chief was arguing that they
have been looking after the arrangements of guests from various
states as they arrived here in connection with Vikramotsava- 2069.
Kaluheda was seen reportedly asking the hotel owner to bring 30
tooth brushes, paste, bath soaps, towels etc. for the "guests".
Divisional organising secretary Rakesh Dagor, Mayor Rameshwar
Akhand and Ujjain Development Authority vice-chairman Anil
Firojiya were also seen engaged in different arrangements, but
none of them disclosed anything to the media persons who thronged
there in large numbers.
Ironically, no information was given to the Neelganga police
station, the area wherein the hotel falls, about their stay. It
may be noted here that it has been made mandatory for the hotel
owners to submit details in writing about customers.
It may be recalled here that a number of MLAs of other states like
Gujarat, Jharkhand and Maharashtra were also ferried to Madhya
Pradesh and particularly to Indore and Ujjain during the last
decade in wake of political instability in their respective
states. Apart from BJP, MLAs from Congress and Nationalist
Congress Party from these states have landed in Ujjain for a
couple of days in the past.