File image of Manipur Assembly

Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Y Khemchand Singh on Tuesday accepted the resignation of five of the six Congress MLAs who had resigned on Monday.

The resignations were submitted on the day the fate of the BJP-led government was to be decided by a trust vote in the Assembly, according to reports.

The five MLAs are Wangkhei MLA Okram Henry, Saitu MLA Ngamthang Haokip, Wangoi MLA Oinam Lukhoi, Singhat MLA Ginsuanhau and Lilong MLA Md Abdul Nasir.

However, the resignation of Wangjin Tentha MLA Paonam Brojen was kept on hold, as a disqualification petition against him is pending at the Speaker’s tribunal.

The judgment on the petition will be announced Friday.

Okram Henry, nephew of former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, said the six MLAs resigned because they were ‘unable to serve the public in their full capacity being with the Congress party’.

The legislators have resigned from the primary membership of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh last Friday moved a confidence motion in the wake of no-confidence earlier submitted by the Opposition.

The BJP won the confidence motion through a voice vote.

Of the total 24 Congress MLAs, eight including the six who resigned did not attend the session.

All the 29 from the ruling benches, including the Speaker, 18 BJP MLAs, 4 each from NPP and NPF, one each from Trinamool Congress and Lok Janshakti, and an independent MLA, attended the vote.

With the resignation of the five accepted, the 60-member Manipur House now has 48 legislators.

The Speaker’s Tribunal had earlier disqualified four MLAs of the Congress under the anti-defection law, and three BJP MLAs have resigned.

While the effective strength of the ruling coalition is 29, the number of the Congress party at present is 19.

This could come down to 18 if the Speaker disqualifies the MLA Brojen, whose petition is pending in the Tribunal court.

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