GUWAHATI: In a huge relief to the BJP, the National People’s Party (NPP) on Thursday confirmed its return to the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur that was reduced to a minority after nine MLAs, including all four from the NPP, had pulled out of the government.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who is also the NPP’s national president, confirmed this to journalists upon landing in Imphal from New Delhi along with the NPP MLAs and Assam Minister and BJP’s troubleshooter in the Northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma.
However, it is still not clear if Chief Minister N Biren Singh will be replaced. The NPP MLAs as well as the state leadership were miffed with his “autocratic” style of functioning which led to the withdrawal of support by the party.
Sangma said BJP national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured the NPP that they would personally address the various issues and grievances.
“We had a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) with BJP president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah. We expressed our grievances and concerns that we are having out here as a political party in this alliance. We expressed everything in details and both understood what the problem is. They have assured us that all issues will be addressed and taken care of. They will personally look into these issues. As such, we have decided that we will be withdrawing our resignations and the NPP will continue to support the BJP government,” Sangma said.
He informed that he, along with the NPP MLAs, would straightway go to Raj Bhawan and “submit our letter to express our support once again to the BJP government”.
Sangma said the assurance by Nadda and Shah had given the NPP a lot of confidence.
“The four NPP MLAs will continue as ministers like before but with changes in their portfolios. We decided on continuing our support to the BJP keeping in mind the interests of Manipur and its people,” the Meghalaya CM added.
Opposition Congress, which had staked claim to form the government and moved a no-trust motion, adopted the wait and watch policy.
“The four NPP MLAs haven’t yet made any statement. The Congress and the people of Manipur are waiting to listen to them,” a Congress leader said.