BJP-led govt in Manipur back in saddle as 4 NPP MLAs withdraw resignations
The three-year-old BJP-led coalition had run into a crisis on June 17 when three BJP MLAs resigned from the party and six other legislators - four from the NPP, one from Trinamool Congress and one Independent - withdrew support to the N Biren Singh’s government.Updated: Jun 25, 2020 21:13 IST
Eight days after they withdrew support to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led ruling coalition in Manipur headed by N Biren Singh, all four MLAs of the National People’s Party (NPP) made a u-turn on Thursday and decided to be part of the government again.
The four legislators met Governor Najma Heptulla at the Raj Bhawan in Manipur’s capital Imphal on Thursday afternoon and expressed their support to the government. All four are likely to be re-inducted as ministers soon.
“A delegation of National People’s Party led by Conrad Sangma along with Himanta Biswa Sarma called on me and all the 4 MLAs gave their letter of support to the BJP led government in the state of Manipur,” Heptulla tweeted after meeting the NPP legislators.
The development comes a day after the four MLAs, who had left Imphal on Tuesday, met Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda in New Delhi. They were accompanied by NPP national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and senior Assam minister and convener of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“Both leaders gave us a very patient hearing and all issues which were there we expressed them all in detail to them. They have understood what the problem is and have assured that all issues will be addressed and taken care of,” Sangma told journalists earlier on Thursday on arrival at the Imphal airport.
“That is why after assurance given by Mr Shah and Mr Nadda we have decided that we will be withdrawing our resignations and NPP will continue to support the BJP government.”
The three-year-old BJP-led coalition had run into a crisis on June 17 when three BJP MLAs resigned from the party and six other legislators - four from the NPP, one from Trinamool Congress and one Independent - withdrew support to the N Biren Singh’s government.
Citing differences with Singh’s style of functioning, the NPP MLAs as well as the TMC and Independent legislators joined hands with opposition Congress and formed a Secular Progressive Front (SPF) to oust the government.
Citing that the government has become a minority, the SPF leaders met the Governor twice seeking convening of a special assembly session to hold floor test on the government’s majority.
Despite the numbers not being in their favour, the BJP candidate, Manipur’s titular king Sanajaoba Leishemba won the Rajya Sabha election on July 19 securing 28 votes to Congress candidate T Mangibabu’s 24.
While these developments were underway, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team questioned Congress leader and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh in Imphal on Wednesday in connection with a case of alleged misappropriation of funds.
It is alleged that the former CM while he was chairman of Manipur Development Society (MDS) between June, 2009 and July, 2017 misappropriated government funds worth Rs 332 crores along with others.
“The only way for BJP to be in power in Manipur is by using CBI against Congress MLAs, manoeuvring Raj Bhawan to slow down attempts by Congress to form government along with allies and by giving pressure to Manipur MLAs by calling them to Delhi,” Manipur Congress spokesperson Nignombam Bupenda Meitei said.
“The entire machineries have been abused to stop the floor test. This is BJP’s destruction of the Constitution,” he added.
Despite winning 21 seats to Congress’s 28, BJP had been able to form government in Manipur in 2017 with support of four NPP MLAs, four Naga Peoples Front MLAs and one MLA each from TMC, Lok Janshakti Party and an Independent in the 60 -ember House.
Due to disqualification of four MLAs by the Speaker, resignations by three BJP MLAs and resignation by a turncoat Congress MLA in March, the Manipur assembly’s strength has been reduced to 52.