Four MLAs of the National People’s Party, who had withdrawn support from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Manipur last week, were on Tuesday flown to Delhi to resolve the political instability in the state, ANI reported.
The development came two days after Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP National President Conrad K Sangma and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited Manipur capital Imphal to stop the Congress from forming a Secular Progressive Front government. Sarma is the saffron party’s troubleshooter and convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, a BJP-headed forum of regional parties in the region. The NPP is a constituent of this forum.
However, the political crisis could not be resolved and the MLAs were flown to Delhi in a chartered flight with Sarma and Sangma. The four MLAs headed by Yumnam Joykumar Singh, L Jayentakumar, Letpao Haokip and N Kayisi left Imphal around 5 pm.
“We had a very productive discussion with NPP,” Sarma said at the airport, according to NDTV. “I also had a discussion with others supporting us from the very beginning. I think that step by step we will be able to resolve the issue. I cannot resolve it at my level. That’s why they want to continue the next round of discussion in Delhi, which will also be attended by my senior colleagues. We will try to resolve it there.”
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday summoned Congress leader and former Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in connection with a first information report registered in November 2019, for alleged misappropriation of state government funds worth Rs 332 crore. Singh is leading the bid to topple the BJP-led government. Last week, he had staked claim to form an alliance government.
The N Biren Singh-led government was reduced to a majority after nine MLAs, including four of NPP, the three of the BJP, one of the Trinamool Congress and one Independent withdrew support and joined Congress on June 17.
However, the BJP won the lone Rajya Sabha seat in the elections last week and claimed that the matter had been settled with the victory of its candidate. The Manipur Assembly has 60 members but only 52 could vote for the Rajya Sabha elections on June 19. The speaker disqualified three Congress MLAs as well the state’s lone Trinamool Congress MLA ahead of the Rajya Sabha election – all of whom were expected to vote for the Congress Rajya Sabha candidate.