The National People’s Party (NPP) has dismissed reports about the party threatening to pull out of the BJP-led coalition in Manipur unless its ministers got desired portfolios.
All four MLAs of the party were given cabinet rank in the state’s first BJP-led coalition government headed by N. Biren Singh, which took oath of office on Wednesday.
“There is no question of going back. We are committed to staying in the coalition and work for development of Manipur for the next 5 years,” NPP’s national president and Lok Sabha MP Conrad Sangma told Hindustan Times.
He, however, admitted that some leaders of the party’s state unit had indeed written to the BJP leadership in New Delhi as well as Biren Singh expressing their desire for certain ministries.
“They had only expressed their desire if the MLAs could be accommodated in particular ministries. There is no harm in that. But there was no threat of pull out,” Sangma said.
With 21 seats, the BJP finished second to the Congress (28) in the 60-member assembly but quickly cobble together a coalition to get past the majority mark. The alliance government has the support of 33 MLAs.
On Wednesday, soon after the BJP-led coalition took oath, reports started appearing that the party has threatened to quit the government.
The reports stated that the party has demanded the home, health and family welfare, Public Works Department (PWD) and rural development and ‘panchayat’ ministries in order to stay with the coalition.
“There is no threat to the new government from our party. I can assure that,” Sangma stressed.
Besides NPP, the coalition has support of Naga People’s Front, Lok Janashakti Party, All India Trinamool Congress and a Congress MLA Th Shyamkumar.
A total of eight cabinet ministers were sworn in with the chief minister. Portfolios haven’t been allotted yet.