In a massive setback to the National People’s Party (NPP) in Manipur ahead of Assembly elections in the state, NPP’s Letpao Haokip has joined the Bharat Janata Party (BJP).

Haokip was the sports minister of Manipur.

He joined the BJP officially on Wednesday in New Delhi despite NPP being an ally of the BJP in Manipur and Meghalaya.

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Haokip’s final decision of quitting NPP and joining BJP came just a day after Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP’s national president Conrad Sangma concluded his Manipur visit.

With Haokip quitting the party, the number of NPP MLAs in Manipur came down to three.

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Apart from Haokip, Deputy CM Yumnam Joykumar Singh is the only NPP minister in the BJP-led Manipur government.

Manipur Assembly elections are likely to be held early next year.

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