Manipur: BJP led coalition government faced turmoil after 9 MLAs quit; Congress to stake claim

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NET News Desk

The BJP led coalition government faced a major political turmoil after nine MLAs resigned from the party on Wednesday ahead of the Rajya Sabha election which is slated to be held on June 19.

Three BJP MLAs resigned from the party and joined the Congress while a total of four MLAs have resigned from the National People’s Party, NPP. Apart from them, the lone Trinamool Congress MLA  T Robindro Singh and Independent MLA Shahabuddin have also withdrawn support to the BJP-led coalition government and expressed support to the Congress.

The Biren Singh government was formed after the 2017 Assembly election, with the BJP winning only 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly. The Congress was the single largest party with 28 seats. Immediately after the election, one Congress MLA (Th. Shyamkumar) defected to the BJP. A TMC MLA, along with the four NPP MLAs and four MLAs of Naga People’s Front (a BJP ally in Nagaland), helped to form the BJP’s first government in the Northeast.

With the disqualification of Th. Shyamkumar Singh and seven other Congress MLAs’ entry to the assembly barred by the court for the Rajya Sabha polls, the effective strength of the assembly has come down to 52.

As three BJP MLAs joins the Congress party it now has 24 members in the Assembly even though Congress leader O Ibobi Singh claimed that they have 27 MLAs and have the support of four belonging to NPP, one each of AITC and Independent, and hence, they have 33 on their side in the 60-seat Assembly.

As per reports, as many coalition partners of the BJP in Manipur have withdrawn their support, the Congress party will call on the Governor of Manipur to convene a special assembly session so that the party can prove its majority in the assembly.

Meanwhile, Ibobi Singh, the former chief minister, said his party will move a no-confidence motion against the government of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and approach Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh to convene a special session of the assembly at the earliest.

Responding to the recent resignation by the BJP MLAs, the party’s incharge Prahlad Singh Patel said that no action has been taken against the three MLAs as of now and the party leadership is monitoring the situation.

Among the BJP MLAs who has resigned were Henglep MLA TT Haokip, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa MLA S Subaschandra Singh and Tamenglong MLA Samuel Jendai.

Haokip, speaking at a press conference in Imphal flanked by Singh and Jendai said, “I tendered my resignation on my own volition.” When asked why they took the decision, Haokip declined to comment further.

The four members of NPP, a coalition party of BJP government in the state, who have withdrawn their support include Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, Health Minister L Jayantakumar Singh,  Tribal affairs minister N Kayisii and Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip, withdrew support to the BJP.

As reported in the Imphal Free Press, Y Joykumar Singh of the NPP, who made the formal announcement said, “As you all know that the political development in the past three to four months and the way this government has treated our party and our Ministers including me. We have deliberated in details about what will be the best thing for us and the party keeping in view Assembly election to be held in 2022. So, we have decided to withdraw our support to this government”. Joykumar who was a Minister holding key posts in the coalition government was stripped of all portfolios just recently.

Joykumar said his party had formally intimated to the government about their withdrawal of support.

“We have withdrawn our support and ended the ties with the BJP government. We have resigned from our post as a minister under the government and all necessary paper works have been submitted to the chief minister’s office “, said Joykumar.

He further added that NPP will explore the possibilities of forming a new government with the Congress party after moving a no-confidence motion against the existing government.

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