Cong sends top leader to Imphal amid reports of state president quitting party
IMPHAL: The Congress rushed party in-charge for Manipur, Bhakta Charandas, to Imphal amid reports that the state party president, Govindas Konthoujam, and two MLAs have resigned from the party and headed to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Manipur goes to polls in March 2022 along with Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa.
Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bhupenda Meitei tweeted that Congress president, Sonia Gandhi is well aware of the developments in the state, and she is deeply concerned for the future of Manipur.
“As per the direction of Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji, AICC in-charge of Manipur, Shri @BhaktaCharandas ji, former Union Minister, will arrive in Imphal by 9 AM tomorrow to meet with senior leaders and other leaders of the party,” he said in a tweet.
The development came as reports claimed that Konthoujam, a six-time lawmaker who heads the state Congress unit, has stepped down. The former minister could not be reached for his response as his mobile phone was switched off. He was appointed state Congress president in December 2020.
News reports also indicated that some other Congress leaders were also on their way out. Kh Joykishan was among those who was said to have resigned as the state unit’s vice president. Joykishan, who represents Thangmeiband assembly constituency in Imphal West district, rejected the media report. “It is not true,” he said.
Yamthong Haokip, MLA from Saikul assembly constituency, who was said to have quit the party could not be contacted for his comment. His phone was also switched off.
The Congress emerged as the single largest party in the 2017 assembly elections, winning 28 out of 60 seats but could not form the government. Instead, the BJP, which won 21 seats, came to power with support of four National People’s Party MLAs, four Naga People’s Front MLAs and one MLA each from TMC, Lok Janshakti Party and an Independent.
The strength of the 60-member assembly has been reduced to 54 (BJP-24, INC-17) after three members were disqualified and three Congress MLAs resigned earlier.