Luxury hotel Radisson Blu Guwahati, where dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is camping along with other MLAs from Maharashtra, has stopped all new bookings till June 30.
Dissident legislators of Shiv Sena, which heads the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in Maharashtra, have been camping in Guwahati, around 2,700 km away from Mumbai, since June 22, resulting in a political crisis in the western state. The five-star property's official website, through which one can make reservations, has stopped taking new requests till June 30.
"There are no available rooms for these dates. We recommend changing dates or selecting a different rate type when available," the website said when booking was attempted till the last day of this month. Reservation is, however, being allowed from July 1 on the website. When contacted, a senior official of the hotel told PTI, "We are booked to capacity." He, however, declined to comment on anything related to the stay of the Maharashtra MLAs.
Sohail Choudhury, an IT professional based in Guwahati, wanted to book a few rooms at the hotel next week, but he was denied. "I tried to book the hotel for our guests coming to attend a function organized by my company. But they said no booking is available due to the stay of the MLAs. They do not even know when the rooms will be available next," he said.
It is learned that around 70 rooms have been booked for the Maharashtra MLAs and their associates. The hotel has closed the restaurants, banquets, and other facilities for other non-resident guests. A senior officer of the Guwahati Police confirmed the development and said that no new guest is being allowed to enter the complex. "Only airline staffers are allowed to come in and go as they have an agreement with the hotel," the official said.
Policemen, under the supervision of senior officers, were checking every guest coming into Radisson Blu. They returned general visitors in most cases. Apart from personnel from nearby Jalukbari Police Station, paramilitary forces and dozens of jawans from reserve battalions and commando units of the Assam Police were keeping a strict vigil on the hotel, which is around 15 km from Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati.
The hotel, located in the Gotanagar area near Jalukbari, has been turned into a complete fortress, and it was made inaccessible to the media. A battery of journalists from across the country was present outside the hotel, located off NH-37 that passes through Guwahati city. The police have been stricter and non-compromising with the journalists who went there to cover the political development.
Radisson Blu Guwahati, which opened in 2014, is the first five-star hotel in the Northeast. It was built on one side of the picturesque Deepor Beel lake and is located next to the Gauhati University and Assam Engineering College campuses.