GUWAHATI: The National People’s Party (NPP) viewed the axing of two of its four ministers in Manipur as “betrayal” by ally BJP.
The four NPP legislators, who are camping in Guwahati, held a meeting with party’s national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Saturday evening. They will hold another round of meeting on Sunday evening and decide the fate of the NPP’s alliance with the BJP.
“We are not happy. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had made a commitment to us. It was not fulfilled. They betrayed us,” one of the NPP legislators told this newspaper requesting anonymity. He did not explain the commitment.
All four of them – Deputy CM Y Joykumar Singh, minister Letpao Haokip, sacked ministers L Jayentakumar and N Kayisii – had arrived in Guwahati on Saturday to decide their future in consultations with Sangma.
“No decision (on the alliance with the BJP) was made last night. We will meet him (Sangma) again this evening and take a decision,” the NPP legislator said.
On Thursday, Manipur CM N Biren Singh, who heads a BJP-led coalition government, had effected a reshuffle of his Cabinet by dropping six ministers – three from BJP, two from NPP and one from Lok Janshakti Party – and inducted five, including Oinam Lukhoi and Okram Henry, who is a nephew of former CM Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress, into the ministry.
Lukhoi and Henry, who had won the 2017 elections on the Congress’ tickets, had resigned as MLAs prior to defecting to the BJP last month.
Recently, when reports were rife on the social media that two NPP ministers would be dropped, the party’s Manipur unit had sent out a message to the BJP that it would withdraw its support to the government if any of them was targeted.
In June, all four NPP ministers had pulled out of the government following differences with the CM. They returned as ministers just days later after the BJP’s central leaders including Shah and JP Nadda had assured them of addressing their grievances. They were then critical of the CM’s “autocratic” style of functioning.