Manipur: Four NPP ministers including Dy CM call it quits, three BJP MLAs join Congress
IMPHAL | JUNE 17, 2020:
The BJP-led coalition government in Manipur headed by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Wednesday suffered a major setback after three MLAs of the ruling party tendered their resignation and six other legislators including four ministers withdrew support from the government.
According to reports, the government is all set to collapse after the BJP's strength in the 59-member Assembly has been reduced to a minority.
The six legislators who withdrew their support from the BJP-led government include – four ministers of the National People's Party (NPP) including Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar, the lone Trinamool Congress member T Robindro Singh, and an independent MLA from Jiribam, Shahabuddin.
The three other leaders of the NPP, who resigned from their posts as ministers, are Tribal and Hills Area Development Minister N Kayishii, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip and Health and Family Welfare Minister L Jayanta Kumar Singh.
The three BJP MLAs – S Subhashchandra Singh, TT Haokip, and Samuel Jendai – had resigned from the party and joined the Congress on Wednesday.
With three BJP MLAs joining Congress, the latter now has 24 members in the Assembly even though former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh claimed the effective strength of the party was now 27. Sources informed that the Congress has already staked claim to form the government in Manipur.
Meanwhile, NPP National President and Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma has termed the political upheaval in Manipur as "unfortunate" and added that they will decide on how to move forward only after speaking to all the party MLAs.
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Manipur's Assembly elections in 2017 had yielded a hung verdict, with the Congress emerging as the single largest party with 28 MLAs in the house of 60. The BJP had 21 MLAs. However, soon after the announcement of the results, seven Congress MLAs joined the BJP as it was short of 10 MLAs to form the government in the 60-member house.
The BJP formed the government with the support of rebel Congress MLAs, apart from the NPP and the Naga People's Front (NPF).
Manipur has been witnessing many political twists and turns since January this year. On June 8, the High Court ordered restraining seven Congress MLAs, who in 2017 joined the BJP, from entering the state Assembly till the Speaker's tribunal heard their disqualification case.