Poligot

Twist In The Tail

Congress power-play fizzles out, BJP wins back rebels

Twist In The Tail
info_icon

A political upheaval in Manipur that had threatened the BJP-led government in the state appears to have blown over, at least for the time being, with the party managing to win back the rebel MLAs who had switched sides and decided to back the Congress’s bid for power.

The end of the eight-day-long drama was announced on June 24 by Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the BJP’s go-to man in the Northeast who managed to pacify four rebel MLAs of the National People’s Party (NPP). He also flew them down to Delhi on a chartered plane and arranged a meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda.

“NPP will continue to support the BJP government in Manipur for the development of Manipur,” Sarma said in Guwahati. Meghalaya chief minister and NPP supremo Conrad Sangma also termed their meeting with Amit Shah and Nadda as positive.  Though there was no immediate clarity on what really transpired in the meeting of the rebels with Shah, it is learnt that the NPP legislators, deputy chief minister Y. Joykumar Singh in particular, strongly pressed for the removal of Biren Singh as chief minister. Shah, sources said, was non-committal on the demand but assured the rebels that their problems had been taken note of and will be resolved.  

For the time being, it appears former chief minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh’s hopes of returning to power will have to wait. Especially, after he was questioned by a CBI team on June 24 over alleged financial irregularities amounting to Rs 332 crore in the Manipur Development Society. Congress alleged that the CBI probe was a desperate bid to save the BJP-led government in Manipur. “CBI is being misused by BJP to delay a new SPF (Secular Progressive Front) government in Manipur. It is a political vendetta,” said Manipur Congress spokesman Ningombam Bupenda Meitei.

Besides checkmating the Congress, the BJP also managed to win the lone Rajya Sabha seat on June 18 when its candidate Leisemba Sanajaoba—Manipur’s royal scion—defeated Congress’s T. Mangibabu by four votes.

Weeks ahead of the RS poll, the high court ordered that seven Congress rebels who were supporting the BJP government, would not be allowed to set foot in the assembly until the Speaker disposes off the anti-defection proceedings pending against them. Assembly speaker Khemchand Singh, however, allowed three of these MLAs to attend the assembly and vote in favour of the BJP candidate in the RS polls.

By Abdul Gani in Guwahati

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement