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BJP set to form government in Manipur, Congress cries foul

BJP is all set to form government in Manipur despite losing the race of single largest party to Congress, which cried foul and accused the Modi govt of subverting the law and democracy.
India TV Politics Desk Imphal March 13, 2017 7:52 IST
India TV Politics Desk

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form government in Manipur, third in the north east, despite losing the race of single largest party to Congress, which cried foul and accused the BJP of "subverting the law and democracy."

The BJP has claimed to have secured the support of 32 MLAs with the backing of regional parties and two other legislators. The party has poached into the Congress and secured support from one of its MLAs and also has the backing of lone Trinamool Congress member in the 60-member Assembly. 

The BJP bagged support from three NDA constituents -- the National People's Party (NPP), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Naga People's Front (NPF). 

Manipur on Saturday threw up a hung assembly with the ruling Congress bagging 28 of the 60 seats.

BJP has its own 21 MLAs and secured support of 11 others adding up to 32 legislators. 31 are needed to form government in the Assembly, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said after meeting Governor Najma Heptullah. 

A delegation of BJP and parties supporting it called on the Governor but it was not clear what transpired in the meeting. 

Biswa Sarma said the legislature party leader would be elected tomorrow. 

Shyamkumar, one of the 28 Congress MLAs who won from Andro constituency, and the lone All India Trinamool Congress legislator Robindro joined the BJP taking the party's numbers to 32, Sarma said. 

Asked about application of the anti-defection law against Shyamkumar, Biswa Sarma said they have kept that in mind. 

Earlier, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said, "We have been able to come to an understanding with the NPP and LJP in our bid to form the government in Manipur."

NPP won 4 seats and LGP 1. 

NPP and LJP representatives were present along with their winning candidates in Madhav's press conference. 

Madhav said that the party also has an "understanding" with another NDA partner Naga People's Front which has won four seats. 

So, after the support of NPP, NPF, LJP, Trinamool Congress and the Congress' one MLA, the BJP has support of 32 MLAs including its own 21. 

Madhav said that the NPF had issued a press statement on Saturday wherein it said it was willing to form a non-Congress government in Manipur. 

The NPP's Conrad Sangma said that the popular verdict was for a change in Manipur. 

On being asked who would be the chief minister in the event of the BJP forming a coalition government, Madhav said the party leadership would decide soon. 

Congress cries foul, says Modi govt subverting democracy in Manipur

The Congress on Sunday cried foul as the BJP was set to form the government in Manipur with the support from three small NDA constituents, a Congress MLA and the lone Trinamool Congress legislator, taking its tally to 32. 

"As per the Constitution and norms, the single largest party is always invited to form the government. The Modi government through the Governors, who are acting as its stooges, is subverting the law and democracy," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said here. 

"Federalism and the rule of law being murdered in broad daylight by the Modi Government," he alleged. 

He also alleged the BJP was misusing the CISF and airport authorities to detain and abduct an Independent MLA travelling with an outgoing Congress minister from Imphal to Kolkata. 

"The BJP is now misusing CISF and airport authorities to detain and abduct Independent MLA (Jiribam seat) Ashab Uddin at Imphal airport," he said, adding that the legislator was travelling with outgoing minister Abdul Nasir. 

Congress general secretary C P Joshi, who is in charge of party affairs in Manipur, has been camping in the state.

Despite BJP's move to form government in Manipur, the Congress which was ruling the state for the past 15 years, said it would stake claim too. 

"We will stake claim soon to form the next government. A fractured mandate requires a coalition government. The Congress is exploring possibilities to join with like-minded parties to form the government," state Congress president T N Haokip told reporters after a Congress legislature party meeting during the day. 

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was re-elected as the CLP leader in the meeting for the fourth time.