NEW DELHI: It's advantage Congress in Manipur a day ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls where the party has got initial success in reducing the BJP numbers in the assembly after a spate of resignations by BJP and NPP MLAs, pulling out of the government.
A day ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls on June 19, Congress has turned the tables and it could be a playbook for Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Congress has fielded T. Mangibabu and the BJP has fielded former King Leishemba Sanajaoba as its Rajya Sabha candidate in Manipur.
"The BJP is on the verge of losing a Rajya Sabha seat and the government in the state. The party was busy in poaching in big states and we have pulled the carpet from under their feet in Manipur. This is the 'beginning of the end' of the BJP in northeast India," said a Congress leader of Manipur.
Former Chief Minister of Manipur, Ibobi Singh is mustering the numbers to replace the first BJP Chief Minister of the state N. Biren Singh who came to power despite the Congress having more numbers in the assembly.
Sources say Okram Ibobi Singh was eyeing an opportunity with the support of Y.J. Singh, the deputy CM and NPP leader, who was also the DGP when Ibobi Singh was Chief Minister for five years.
The Congress in the state has claimed the support of 20 MLAs and 10 others with 7 Congress MLAs being on the verge of disqualification. If that happens it will bring down the effective strength of the assembly to 52.
Congress spokesperson in the state N. Bupenda Meitei said, "12 MLAs led by Congress, including NPP, have sent a notice to Manipur Legislative Assembly for the removal of Speaker under Article 179(c) of Constitution of India."
"This notice will further strengthen formation of a new Congress-led coalition government in Manipur," he said.
Congress sources in Delhi said that now only Governor Najma Heptulla can save the government for the time being as the party is eyeing the Rajya Sabha poll outcome. If the party wins the seat, then it will be clear that the BJP has lost the mandate and the Congress will challenge the Governor's decision in court if it doesn't suit the party.
Now, the BJP will have a tough time to save the government and the Rajya Sabha seat and it could be a repeat of Madhya Pradesh but this time with the Congress on the offensive and the BJP on the backfoot.