The Manipur Assembly will on Monday vote on a trust motion to decide the fate of Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in the state, The Indian Express reported. Both the saffron party and the Congress have issued whips to their MLAs, asking them to attend the one-day special Assembly session and vote as per the party’s line.
Last week, Chief Minister N Biren Singh had moved the trust motion after the Congress filed a no confidence motion on July 28. It was filed after the party’s demand to move a drug smuggling case to the Central Bureau of Investigation was not met. The case pertains to the seizure of a consignment of contraband drugs and old currencies from the residence of Lhukhosei Zhou, the chairperson of the autonomous council of Chandel district in June 2018.
BJP state chief S Tikendra Singh said he was confident that the government will win the trust vote with the support of more than 30 members, even though the coalition’s strength in the House stood at 29, according to PTI.
Congress MLA Keisham Meghachandra, who moved the motion on behalf of the party, said the matter has been listed for discussion in the business agenda of the House circulated by the Assembly secretary. “The rules of business of the House clearly mention that if there are two separate motions on the same spirit of the topic, one moved by the Opposition and the other by the government, priority should be given to the government’s motion,” he added. “So, Congress will take part in the discussion.”
The Congress is targeting the BJP government over the drug smuggling case after failed attempts to dislodge the saffron party. In June, nine members of the BJP-led coalition, including four ministers of the National People’s Party, had withdrawn support to join Congress-led coalition – Secular Progressive Front. However, after a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda, the rebel NPP legislators said they will continue to support the coalition government.
The 60-member Manipur Assembly now has a strength of 53 after the resignation of three BJP MLAs and disqualification of four members under the anti-defection law.