GUWAHATI: The political battleground of Manipur, where some BJP legislators have raised the banner of revolt against Chief Minister N Biren Singh, has shifted to Delhi.
The development comes amidst a precarious financial situation in the state which saw the Reserve Bank of India stop honouring government bills and cheques since Wednesday.
Currently, at least 12 lawmakers, including ministers, MPs and MLAs BJP, Naga People’s Front (NPF) and National People’s Party (NPP), are camping in Delhi. The CM has been camping there since Thursday. NPF and NPP are BJP allies and constituents in the state’s coalition government.
A week ago, 17 BJP legislators had purportedly written to party’s central leadership seeking Singh’s ouster. According to reports, the rebellion was being spearheaded by Minister Thongam Bishwajit but he had rubbished it saying he was not hungry for power.
In the wake of overdraft of around Rs.300 crore, the CM had cracked the whip on Thursday by stripping Bishwajit of the portfolio of public works. He had also taken over the finance portfolio from Deputy CM Y Joykumar.
In addition to this, the state government had ordered a probe into some cases of withdrawal of “huge amounts” of money by the departments of public works and power. The money was withdrawn during March-May when the model code of conduct was in force.
Meanwhile, the CM on Saturday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the national capital.
“Hon'ble CM called on Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji @nsitharaman, Hon'ble Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, at her office chamber today and apprised her of the present financial position of the State,” the Manipur CM’s office tweeted.
The activities of the Manipuri lawmakers camping in Delhi were in the realms of speculations. Calls made to some of them went unanswered. The CM also did neither respond to phone calls nor did he reply WhatsApp messages.