IMPHAL: Amid the BJP claiming support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Manipur assembly, outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam today said the Congress, being the single largest party, must be allowed first to form the government.
"The Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, so as per the Constitution the single largest party should be called first to form the government and prove its strength on the floor of the House," he told reporters here.
Gaikhangam also described as "completely baseless" the reports that several Congress legislators, including Shyam Kumar, were in touch with the BJP and expressed a desire to support a BJP government.
"The entire Congress is united and stand firmly behind Ibobi Singh. These reports of defection in the Congress are absolutely baseless and have been planted by the BJP to create confusion," he said.
The state Congress leadership also accused the BJP of indulging in "horse trading."
"They are trying to use money power to buy MLAs. This is not only unconstitutional but also a crime," state Congress general secretary Vidyapati Gautam told PTI.
State BJP leader N Biren, however, denied the charges.
Meanwhile, NPP general secretary Vivek Raj today said that the party and all its MLAs firmly stood behind the BJP and would support a BJP government in the state.
"There is no question of supporting the Congress. We will support the BJP," he said.