MANIPUR POLITICAL CRISIS : Return of 4 NPP MLAs triggers fresh crisis for the BJP Led Coalition Government in the state

Fresh trouble for N. Biren Singh began after Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, also the BJP’s troubleshooter in the region as convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), promised four ministerial berths to the NPP.

MANIPUR POLITICAL CRISIS : Return of 4 NPP MLAs triggers fresh crisis for the BJP Led Coalition Government in the state
Manipur CM, N Biren Singh (File Photo)

The return of four National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs to the coalition government in Manipur was expected to have settled the political crisis for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Instead, it appears to have triggered a fresh crisis for Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, with another regional ally, defectors from Congress and some of his own party MLAs now demanding their pound of flesh.

Fresh trouble for Mr. Biren began after Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, also the BJP’s troubleshooter in the region as convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), promised four ministerial berths to the NPP. They would not be required to take oath of office as their resignations from the Council of Ministers had not been approved.

The assurance was given after former Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar and three other NPP legislators submitted a letter to Governor Najma Heptulla on June 25, expressing their renewed support to the BJP-led coalition. Mr. Sarma and Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP national president Conrad K. Sangma had accompanied the four.

The NEDA is a BJP-helmed forum of smaller parties in the northeast that traditionally had the Congress as its main political rival.

The assurance to accommodate all the four NPP legislators as Cabinet Ministers angered the BJP lawmakers who had been camping at a luxury hotel in State capital Imphal since the political crisis began.

Mr. Biren, party insiders said, tried to pacify the agitated BJP lawmakers as well as those who had defected from the Congress. These MLAs were unhappy with the “interference” of NEDA and others in Manipur politics.

The Naga People’s Front (NPF) too demanded one more berth and threatened to leave the alliance if ignored. Like the NPP, the NPF has four MLAs but only two Ministers.

In a House of 60, Manipur can have a maximum of 12 Ministers, including the Chief Minister.

“Our party MLAs, who are feeling left out, are likely to fly to Delhi and meet the central leadership for justice,” a BJP leader said, declining to be quoted.

The BJP won 21 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections but has 18 now after three resigned to trigger the crisis along with the four NPP and two other MLAs.

Source : HT