NEWS
22/06/2020 3:41 PM IST

Manipur's BJP Govt In Crisis: Here's What's Happening There

The BJP government in Manipur was pushed to a minority status after 9 MLAs from the ruling alliance quit.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A file photo of Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh.

N Biren Singh’s BJP-led coalition government in Manipur was pushed to a minority status last week when 9 MLAs left the National Democratic Alliance in the north eastern state and joined the Congress

While Manipur chief minister Biren Singh claimed on Sunday that the success of the BJP candidate Leishemba Sanajaoba in the Rajya Sabha election put to rest the majority/minority controversy, the crisis is not really over for the BJP because it still does not have the numbers. 

What happened? 

After the 2017 assembly polls where the BJP won 21 seats and the Congress 28 seats, the BJP formed a government in Manipur by forming an alliance with the National People’s Party(NPP), Naga People’s Front and the Lok Janshakti Party. Seven Congress MLAs had defected to the BJP at the time. 

On June 17, nine MLAs — 4 from the NPP, 3 from the BJP, 1 from TMC and one independent — tendered their resignations from the government. 

Among them were deputy chief minister Y Joy Kumar Singh, 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 Congress has the support of 29 MLAs now — 20 from Congress, 4 from NPP, 3 from BJP, one from TMC and an Independent.

The figure in support of Biren Singh stood at 23, including 18 BJP MLAs, 4 of Naga People’s Front (NPF) and one MLA from LJP.

Congress to move no-confidence motion, forms new alliance

Amid the turmoil that put the BJP government in a minority status, Congress legislative party leader O Ibobi Singh said on June 18 that the party will try to form a government and move a no-confidence motion against Biren Singh’s government. 

The Congress has formed a new alliance — the Secular Progressive Front — and says it has found support from the MLAs that quit from the government. 

On June 18, the three BJP MLAs who resigned — Subhashchandra Singh, T T Haokip and Samuel Jendai — were part of the press conference where this was announced. 

The Congress has moved a motion for the removal of the speaker on June 18 asked Governor Najma Heptullah to convene a special assembly session for a no-confidence motion.

Unhappy, say MLAs

Deputy chief minister Y Joy Kumar Singh claimed that he quit because he was not happy with the way his party was treated by the BJP government. 

“We deliberated on what will be the best course of action for the party and for us...and keeping in view the assembly elections in early 2022, we decided to tender our resignation,” PTI quoted Singh as saying. 

TMC’s T Robindro also cited similar reasons for his resignation. He said, “We were with the government for some three years now. We feel like we have been neglected and whatever proposals we put up, it will be sidelined.”

Conrad Sangma,  Himanta Biswa Sarma sent as emissaries

On Sunday, amid the turmoil, NPP president and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma and BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma arrived in Manipur on Monday to pacify the leaders who have defected. 

NDTV reported that Conrad Sangma had met with his party MLAs and tried to persuade them to reconsider the decision to quit. 

Reports said that Sangma and Sarma also met Biren Singh, after which they held talks with NPP leaders. 

Sources told PTI that the two discussed a strategy with Biren Singh to save the government. 

Biren Singh confident

After the victory of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls, Biren Singh said, “Concerning the majority and minority issue, there is no further need to deliberate on it again. The BJP candidate’s win clearly shows everything and I don’t want to go in detail.” 

PTI reported that while congratulating new MP Sanajaoba, the chief minister said “the success is evident enough to the matter related to which party is in majority and which one is in minority”.

Sanajaoba won the poll securing 28 votes against Congress candidate T Mangi Babu who got 24 votes, with eight MLAs not casting their votes in the house of 60 members.

(With PTI inputs)