The Congress on Thursday moved a no-confidence motion against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Manipur, NDTV reported. The development came after the Conrad Sangma-led National People’s Party pulled out of the coalition and extended support to the Congress.
On Wednesday, four ministers of the National People’s Party, including Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, resigned from their posts. Three BJP MLAs resigned from the party and joined the Congress. A Trinamool Congress legislator and an Independent legislator also withdrew support to the N Biren Singh-led government, reducing its effective strength in the 59-member Assembly by nine seats.
The new alliance is known as the Secular Progressive Front. The Trinamool Congress legislator and Independent MLA have also backed it.
“A delegation comprising leaders of the Congress and other parties met Governor Najma Heptulla and demanded to convene a special session of the state Assembly, to move a no confidence motion against the BJP government headed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh,” Congress leader Chalton Amo told the media after meeting Heptulla, IANS reported. Amo said the group handed over a letter to Heptulla signed by Okram Ibobi Singh, the former chief minister and Congress leader.
BJP’s Manipur head Prahlad Singh Patel said that no action has been taken so far against the three MLAs who defected, as the party is observing the developing situation.
Congress MLA K Meghachandra served a notice of motion to the Manipur assembly secretary for removal of Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh under Article 179 (e) of the Constitution, EastMojo reported. The letter had the signatures of 12 legislators including Meghachandra, Y Joykumar Singh and Okram Ibobi Singh. It alleged that his conduct had been unconstitutional and illegal.
The letter referred to the decision of the Manipur High Court on June 8, prohibiting seven MLAs of the Congress who had defected to the BJP earlier, from entering the state Assembly until the disqualification case pending in the speaker’s tribunal is disposed of. The MLAs had defected in 2017 immediately after the Manipur Assembly elections, but the case is still pending.
The BJP had won 21 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections, while the Congress had emerged the single largest party with 28 seats. However, the BJP formed the government along with four MLAs of the Naga People’s Front, four of the National People’s Party, one Trinamool Congress legislator, one MLA from the Lok Janshakti Party and one Independent. Later, Congress MLA Shyamkumar Singh and seven more Congress legislators joined the saffron party.