Five former Congress MLAs of Manipur, who recently resigned from the state Assembly and party, on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, party general secretary Ram Madhav and Vice President Baijayant Panda in New Delhi. A sixth MLA could not be present for the induction, according to the Hindustan Times.
While welcoming the MLAs, Madhav said there was no threat to the Biren Singh government in Manipur now. “It will not only complete its tenure but will be reelected,” he claimed.
Henry Okram, nephew of former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ibobi Singh, Panonam Broken, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Ngamthang Haokip, Ginsuanhau Zou were among those inducted.
On August 10, the BJP-led coalition government in the state won the vote of confidence moved by Singh during the special one-day session of the Assembly. Eight Congress MLAs skipped the session, defying a party whip. Among these, six legislators said they have lost trust in the leadership of former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and resigned.
The 60-member Manipur Assembly currently has a strength of 53 after the resignation of three BJP MLAs and disqualification of four members under the anti-defection law. The ruling coalition has 29 MLAs, including Speaker Y Khemchand, while the Congress has 24.
On July 28, the Congress had submitted a motion of no confidence against the state government. The chief minister, who was certain of winning, decided to move a trust vote and retained power.
After the results of the trust vote, former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh alleged there had been “poll code violations” and said “democracy was murdered”.