The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Manipur has hit rough weather on Wednesday after 9 of its MLAs, including 3 BJP legislators, 4 members of NPP (National People’s Party), an ally of BJP government, including health minister L Jayant Kumar Singh, tribal affair minister N Kayishii tendered their resignation from the party to officially join Congress.
Following the development, Congress decides to stake claim to form a new government in the state and the former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh will be the new party leader, the strength of the opposition party now stands 28, including 20 from Congress, 4 NPP, 2 from BJP( those who recently joined), one AITC and an Independent MLA.
Earlier, the BJP-led government had 39 MLAs in the 60-member house, the opposition had 21. After elections, 7 Congress MLAs joined BJP for which they are facing anti-defection cases under the Tenth Schedule of Indian Constitution in the Speaker’s Tribunal as well as in the High Court of Manipur. One Congress MLA who joined the BJP-led government after the 2017 Manipur election was disqualified from the membership of Manipur Legislative Assembly recently which reduced the strength of the house to 59. Currently, BJP’s total strength has come down to 23 MLA’s. To win the Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate requires 26 votes.
The previous day, Deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh held a press conference to officially announce the withdrawal of his support to BJP
“In respect of the political development in the last few months in Manipur, and the kind of treatment we received, including myself; comes the decision of withdrawal,” said Singh.
“We deliberated in details about what will be the best course of action for the party keeping, in particular, the Assembly to be held in early 2022,” he added.
Manipur is to see the election for one Rajya Sabha seat on June 19. BJP has nominated Leisemba Sanjaoba while the Congress nominee is T Mangi Babu for the lone seat of the upper house from the Manipur constituency.
In 2017 Assembly polls, Congress had emerged as the single-largest party with 28 seats in Manipur. While the BJP had won just 21 out of 60 seats in Manipur. The BJP, however, had managed to stitch an alliance under the leadership of the current Chief Minister of the state, N Biren Singh.
The National Democratic Alliance is currently in power in all the north-east states. If Congress manages to prove its mandate after the floor test in Manipur, it would be the first state in the region to form a new government ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA came to power at the Centre in 2014.