Former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh addressing the media in Imphal. (File image)

The Congress on Thursday afternoon met Manipur governor Najma Heptulla and staked claim to form government in the state.

A team of Congress leaders led by former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh along with NPP and TMC legislators met the governor at Raj Bhawan in Imphal and staked claim to form government in the state replacing BJP-led government.

“3 times Congress Chief Minister (2002 to 2017) Shri Okram Ibobi Singh stakes claim to form the new SPF (Secular Progressive Front) in Manipur by writing a letter, with support from all members of the SPF, to Governor of Manipur today,” Manipur Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said in a tweet.

Earlier, 12 legislators led by Congress including NPP have sent a notice to Manipur Legislative Assembly for the removal of Speaker under Article 179(c) of Constitution of India.

“I hope that the minority BJP Government in Manipur will be dismissed soon by Governor. I also pray that our Constitution of India will be upheld by all. In the interest of democracy and to uphold our Constitution, Manipur must have the new SPF Govt,” Meitei said in another tweet.

Four legislators from the National People’s Party (NPP) including three ministers – health and family welfare minister L Jayantakumar Singh, deputy chief minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh, YAS minister Letpao Haokip and tribal affairs minister N Kayisii withdrew support to the BJP-led government on Tuesday.

The lone independent MLA from Jiribam and Trinamool Congress MLA have also expressed support to the Congress.

The Congress is confident of numbers stacking on their side for a smooth sail during the trust vote – 29 Congress, 22 BJP and others, and the Assembly Speaker would add up to 52 MLAs who can vote.

The seven Congress MLAs, however, who defected to the BJP will not be eligible to vote as they have been restrained by the High Court of Manipur from entering the Assembly till Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh finally disposes of the pending anti-defection cases against them.

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