BJP holds talks with NPP to bring Manipur government back on track

the hindu, 21-06-2020 19:48:51

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Manipur political crisis | BJP holds talks with NPP to bring Manipur government back on track

Meghalaya CM Conrad K. Sangma and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma meet in Imphal.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National People’s Party (NPP) are pursuing the possibility of patching up in Manipur to bring the Nongthombam Biren government back on rails.

The NPP, which had four MLAs in the BJP-led coalition government, had pulled out on June 17 along with five other legislators, including three of the BJP. This reduced the Biren government to a minority, but the BJP pulled off the Rajya Sabha election two days later with the support of a few MLAs of the Opposition Congress, which had staked claim to form an alternative coalition government.

On Sunday, Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP national president Conrad K. Sangma and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a special flight to Manipur capital Imphal to hammer out an agreement between the legislators of the two parties.

The outcome of the meeting was not immediately known, but leaders of both parties exuded confidence of “carrying on from where we left off”.

Officials said the two had checked into a high-end hotel designated as an institutional quarantine centre for a meeting with key leaders of both parties in Manipur.

Mr. Sangma had before leaving for Imphal said the Manipur issue was brought to the notice of central leadership of the National Democratic Alliance in Delhi. “Efforts are on to resolve this,” he added.

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Okram Ibobi insisted that the BJP-led government had lost majority and said a trial of strength would make things clear. He was also critical of Governor Najma Heptulla for taking time in summoning a special session of the Assembly.

“The way Leishemba Sanajaoba, the BJP candidate, was elected as the Rajya Sabha member shows that the coalition Ministry still commands majority,” Mr. Biren said.

The Manipur Assembly has 60 members but only 52 could vote for the Rajya Sabha polls on June 19.

Officials said Mr. Sangma and Mr. Sarma were not required to be quarantined as they were scheduled to fly out the same day. On the other hand, two Congress leaders — former Union minister Ajay Maken and Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi — have been in quarantine in an Imphal hotel since their arrival on June 18.

Mr. Maken said they had booked the quarantine facility in advance for a long stay. However, local Congress leaders have not been able to meet them at the hotel for discussing party matters.

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