Following the resignation of 9 MLAs of the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur, the newly formed Secular Progressive Front (SPF), led by Congress, has staked claim to form the government in the state.
Led by Congress leader and three-time Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, the SPF, comprised of MLAs from National People’s Party (NPP) and Trinamool Congress, has submitted a memorandum requesting Governor Najma Heptulla to convene a special assembly session to adopt a resolution on a no-confidence motion against the N Biren Singh-led BJP government.
“I hope that the minority BJP government in Manipur will be dismissed soon by the Governor. I also pray that Constitution of India will be upheld by all. In the interest of democracy and to uphold our Constitution, Manipur must have the new SPF government,” said Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei after the team met the Governor in Imphal on Thursday.
With seven MLAs of the Congress barred from entering the House by the High Court of Manipur, the strength of INC in the house is now 20, while that of the BJP after resignation of three of its MLAs has been reduced to 18.
The current government is now supported by only 23 MLAs, 18 from the BJP, four from the Naga People’s Front (NPF) and one from the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP).
On the other hand, the SPF has 20 Congress MLAs, four NPP MLAs, one from the TMC and another independent MLA, totalling to 26 members out of effective total house strength of 49 members, claims the memorandum which was submitted to the Governor.
Recently, Manipur High Court had restrained seven MLAs, who left Congress to join the BJP, from entering the legislative assembly till further orders. And one seat is vacant after disqualification of Th Shyamkumar, who had defected to the BJP from Congress even before he was sworn-in as an MLA.
The development is crucial as the Rajya Sabha poll for the lone seat from Manipur is scheduled to be held on June 19 in the state.
Earlier in the day, Congress and NPP had sought the removal of the speaker of state Legislative Assembly, terming him ‘authoritarian’.
“12 MLAs led by Congress, including NPP, have sent a notice to Manipur Legislative Assembly for the removal of the Speaker under Article 179(c) of Constitution of India. This notice will further strengthen formation of the new Congress led coalition govt in Manipur,” said Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, a Congress spokesperson.