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BJP-led government in Manipur in trouble as 3 MLAs quit, 6 others withdraw support

The Congress claimed that 'several' BJP MLAs were ready to desert the party. The party said it was gearing up to visit the Raj Bhawan and stake claim to form the government.

Published: 17th June 2020 10:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2020 10:55 PM   |  A+A-

Manipur CM Biren Singh

Manipur CM Biren Singh (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP-headed coalition government in Manipur has been reduced to a minority on Wednesday after three of its MLAs resigned from the party as well as the Assembly and six other MLAs withdrew their support to the party.

The development brought the number of MLAs in the N Biren Singh’s government down to 23 – 18 from BJP, four from Naga People’s Front (NPF) and one from Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). NPP’s Y Joykumar Singh was the Deputy Chief Minister.

Opposition Congress has 20 MLAs. If the six non-BJP MLAs ditching BJP – four from Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP), one from Trinamool Congress and an independent MLA – extend their support to Congress, it will take the grand old party’s tally to 26.

The 60-member Manipur House has an effective strength of 59 after (now former) Minister Shyamkumar Singh was disqualified in March following an order issued by the Supreme Court.

Seven other Congress MLAs, who had sided with the BJP, are likely to be disqualified soon as the Manipur High Court last week ordered Speaker Yumnam Khemchand to “restraint” their entry into the Assembly. So, their disqualification is only a matter of time.

Once they are disqualified, the strength of the Assembly will go further down to 52. So, 27 MLAs are all that a formation of parties will need to be in power.

Following the developments, the Congress claimed they had 26 MLAs (this includes the six non-BJP MLAs who withdrew their support to the saffron party). The Congress was optimistic that the lone LJP MLA would also join its fold by withdrawing his support to the BJP.

The Congress claimed that “several” BJP MLAs were ready to desert the party. The party said it was gearing up to visit the Raj Bhawan and stake claim to form the government.

In the 2017 state elections, Congress had grabbed 28 seats as against the BJP’s 21 but still the saffron party managed to form the government with support from other parties.

For the past year and a half, all was not well within the BJP. Last year, a section of BJP MLAs had raised the banner of revolt against the CM who was also with Congress until his defection to the BJP months ahead of the last election. The disgruntled BJP MLAs had visited Delhi several times and demanded the CM’s ouster but could not unseat him.

“The beginning of the downfall of BJP rule in India happens today in Imphal, Manipur. Soon, there will be people’s true government which is the new Congress-led coalition government in Manipur. I am confident that 3-time former Chief Minister Shri Okram Ibobi Singh will become the new Chief Minister. Today marks the dusk of Modi regime in India for 2024. Today is the new beginning of India. Today is the new sunrise for Manipur,” Congress spokesman Ningombam Bupenda Meitei tweeted.

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