The race for government formation in Manipur doesn’t seem over yet. After BJP met Governor Najma Heptullah on Sunday night to stake claim, Congress’s incumbent chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh too went to the Raj Bhawan late at night.
Singh, who had been elected Congress legislature party leader earlier in the day, told reporters that he requested the Governor to allow his party, the single largest with 28 MLAs, to form the government and prove majority on the floor of the House.
“I am hoping the Governor will do justice,” he told journalists at a press conference held close to midnight.
Earlier, Congress MLA from Andro, T Shyamkumar had gone to the Raj Bhawan with BJP leaders and assured support to a government led by the saffron party. Ibobi, however, claimed there has been no defection yet.
There are intense speculations in Imphal that more than a dozen Congress MLAs might switch over to the BJP as they are unhappy with Ibobi getting elected as the CLP leader again.
Congress, which had 42 seats in 2012, saw its tally slip to 28, three short of the majority mark, 31, required to form government in the 60-member assembly. The BJP, which had not opened account five years ago, got 21 seats.
The numbers game still favours BJP as the party has got support of four MLAs each from Naga People’s Front and National People’s Party besides the lone Lok Janshakti Party legislator Karam Shyam.
With Congress rebel T Shyam Kumar and the only All India Trinamool Congress MLA, T Robindro also joining the BJP camp, its number reaches 32. The Congress is yet to get any support from others.
The saffron party will hold a meeting of its legislators on Monday to elect a legislature party leader and also decide on the swearing in ceremony.
On the other hand, Congress is trying to hold its MLAs together and holding talks to reach the required numbers.