Despite failing to become the largest party, the BJP is busy gathering the numbers to form the next government in Manipur with the help of smaller players.
From having no seats in the previous assembly, the party bagged 21 seats---seven less than the ruling Congress, which got 28. The party needs support of 31 MLAs to stake claim to form the next government.
“The mandate is against the Congress. We already have support of some groups and are confident of getting others to join us to reach the required number,” said senior BJP leader and Manipur in-charge Ram Madhav.
Senior leaders said the party would stake its claim to form government as soon as it has the support of 31 MLAs. Swearing-in of the new government will take few more days.
The saffron party already has support of Nagaland Peoples’ Front (NPF), which has four seats and the lone Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MLA has also agreed to back a BJP-led government.
“We are already part of the NDA government in Centre and our party has decided to support a BJP-led government in Manipur,” LJP legislator Karan Shyam told HT.
On Saturday evening, the NPF had issued a statement that it would support a non-Congress government in Manipur. BJP is part of the NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government in Nagaland.
The Congress, which got 14 less seats than in 2012, is also trying to stay in the government formation race and is in talks with National Peoples’ Party (NPP), which got four seats and the lone Independent MLA.
Madhav and other senior BJP leaders like powerful Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and senior leader Prahlad Patel are stationed in Manipur’s capital and holding talks to cobble up the figures.
“Government formation may take 2-3 more days. Hectic meetings are on and there should be some positive development by Sunday evening,” Sarma told Hindustan Times.
Both the Congress and the BJP are also trying to get the lone All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) legislator T Robindro Singh to their side.
“We are the single-largest party and we would try the get support of at least three more MLAs to form the government,” said Manipur Congress president TN Haokip.