Setback for Nitish Kumar as five of six JDU MLAs defect to BJP in Manipur

The five deserters are Khumukcham Joykisan Singh, Ngursangiur Sanate, Md Achab Uddin, Thangjam Arunkumar and LM Khaute.

Published: 03rd September 2022 12:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2022 12:32 AM   |  A+A-

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visits the Janata Dal (United) office to inspect the preparation for the party's national executive and national council meetings, in Patna. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: In a major political development in Manipur, five of the six Janata Dal (United) MLAs “merged” themselves with the ruling BJP on Friday night.

“The Hon'ble Speaker Manipur Legislative Assembly is pleased to accept the merger of the following Hon'ble Members of Legislature Party of JD(U) to the Legislature Party of BJP in the Manipur Legislative Assembly under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India,” Assembly secretary Meghajit Singh said in a bulletin.

The five deserters are Khumukcham Joykisan Singh, Ngursangiur Sanate, Md Achab Uddin, Thangjam Arunkumar and LM Khaute.

After this year’s Assembly elections, the JD(U) had submitted a declaration to the governor, pledging its support to the BJP. However, the saffron party had snubbed the Nitish Kumar-led party and formed a coalition government with the regional Naga People’s Front.

Even after this, the JD(U) considered itself as a part of the government. What gave it this belief is the seating arrangement in the Assembly. Its MLAs had their seats at the treasury bench.

When Kumar ditched the BJP in Bihar, the Manipur leadership of the JD(U) had more or less decided to “withdraw” the party’s support to the BJP-led government. The state leadership was waiting to meet the Bihar CM in a few days before taking this decision.

The developments within the JD(U), perhaps, made the five MLAs to desert the party and wear saffron. Not many in Manipur were surprised when the JD(U) won six seats, for it had fielded some very good candidates.

Setback comes just after the conclusion of key JDU meet

'Raja nahi fakir hai, desh ka takdeer hai' enthusiastic supporters of JD(U) raised the slogan at the unscheduled arrival of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at JD(U) office to oversee the arrangements for three-day the meeting of the state executive committee and the national council, which began on Friday.
Others waiting outside the office on Veerchandra Patel Marg joined the chorus.

Slogans like 'Desh ka PM kaisa ho, Nitish Kumar jaisa ho,” rent the air. Nitish had to interrupt to stop the slogan shouting, which continued outside the office even after he went inside to meet the party's senior leaders to attend the meeting of the state committee on the first day.

Later talking to the media, Nitish said, “I had come to oversee the arrangements for the meeting as leaders from different states would participate.”

He, however, parried the questions on him being projected as Prime Ministerial candidate of the Opposition. “Are Chhodiye. Hum pahle hin bata chuke hain (I have already clarified it),” he said, while leaving the party office.

The situation, however, turned tense for a moment when vice president Ram Nihora Yadav asked the leaders on the dais whether 'RCP Singh' style of functioning would continue in the party. In fact, he was unhappy over the role of various frontal organisations' in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections being defined by the senior leaders.

“Let us deliberate upon the task of the party's role and not about that the frontal organisations. I think we have to focus more on the main agenda of the party rather than defining the role of frontal organisations,” Nihora was heard telling the senior leaders of the party at the meeting.

“All this happened in the presence of state unit chief Umesh Kushwaha. Later Kushwaha pacified Nihora by telling him that the points he raised at the meeting would be discussed later. 

“I will discuss with you the issues that you have raised at the state committee meeting today,” Kushwaha told the vice president Nihora.

Some political agenda to be discussed for the next two days were also taken up at the state committee meeting. 

“Today we talked about the issues to be taken up at the meeting of the national executive committee and national council. We also held deliberations on present political scenario prevailing in the state,” Kushwaha said.

Insiders in the JD(U) said that resolutions on projecting Nitish as PM candidate of the Opposition at the centre would be passed by the national executive and national council of the party at the meeting.

JD(U) national chief Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, however, reiterated that Nitish was not the PM candidate. 

“Nitish Kumar will work for unity of the Opposition parties to take on BJP and PM Narendra Modi in the 2024 LS polls,” Singh told the media on Friday.

Earlier, posters were installed outside the JD(U) office saying 'Pradesh mein dikha, desh mein dikhega (seen in the state, to be seen in the counntry)' and 'Jumla nahi haqueeqat (not gimmick but a reality).

(With Inputs from Ramashankar)

India Matters


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  • Max Coutinho

    It is time for a law to stop the abuse of their position by elected representatives. Once a person is elected on a particular party ticket
    8 months ago reply
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