Even though Manipur’s ruling BJP managed to win the state’s lone Rajya Sabha seat on Friday, the danger to chief minister N. Biren Singh-led coalition government was not yet over and hectic parleys are on.
While the key opposition Congress claimed that the BJP-led government had lost its majority, the BJP claimed the issue had been settled with the victory of its candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls.
Congress observers Ajay Maken and Gaurav Gogoi, Meghalaya chief minister and National People’s Party (NPP) President Conrad K. Sangma, Assam Minister and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma held a series of meeting with their respective MLAs in Imphal on Sunday.
As Covid-19 protocols are in force, all the leaders are either in institutional quarantine or in hotels as the health authorities are not allowed them to move or hold meetings freely.
BJP’s national General Secretary Ram Madhav, Congress leaders Maken and Gogoi engaged in a series of tweets about the outcome of the RS polls and latter’s’ visit to Manipur.
Manipur health and family welfare department’s Additional Director and spokesman Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang said as the leaders came from outside, they have to maintain the Covid-19 guidelines.
Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said that Sangma and NEDA convener Sarma are in Imphal but their presence would have no impact even if the Manipur chief minister is replaced.
“The only solution is Congress-led SPF (Secular Progressive Front) government in Manipur. Congress, along with other parties, has the numbers.
“In a democracy, the majority is always proved on the floor of the House. I strongly urge Manipur governor to convene a special assembly session soon. Let there be a floor test. How can BJP-led minority government with 23 MLAs stay in power,” Meitei tweeted.
He said that after the disqualifications and resignations of the legislators, the present strength of the 60-member Assembly is 52.
NPP’s Manipur chief Thangminlien Kipgen said that the BJP-led government in Manipur since 2017 has been running in an authoritarian manner.
“Chief minister N. Biren Singh and the BJP leadership never discussed with the leaders of the other parties and MLAs even as the five political parties for the ruling alliance in Manipur after the 2017 assembly polls,” he said.
The BJP is a constituent of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) in Meghalaya.