Shillong: It is an irony that Manipur celebrated June Uprising, Unity Day a day after the coalition government in the state witnessed a disharmonious development that has left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hierarchy in utter chaos.
The BJP-led coalition in Manipur lost the support of nine MLAs, four of whom are state cabinet ministers. Of them, four were from the National People’s Party (NPP), which is led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, and three from the BJP.
The NPP ministers who quit are — deputy CM Y Joykumar Singh, a former cop during the Congress government of Okram Ibobi Singh, tribal and hills area development minister N Kayishii, youth affairs and sports minister Letpao Haokip and health and family welfare minister L Jayanta Kumar Singh.
The BJP legislators who left the party and joined the Congress are Samuel Jendai, TT Haokip and Subhashchandra. The other two MLAs who withdrew support from the coalition are L Robindro of the Trinamool Congress, headed by Mamata Banerjee who is always severely critical of the BJP in Bengal and at the Centre, and Ashabuddin, an Independent.
The saffron party, which is adept at ‘bringing’ MLAs in its fold, is getting a taste of its own medicine.
On Thursday, the state Congress, led by former CM Ibobi Singh, met Governor Najma Heptullah and requested her to call a special Assembly session “in a couple of days” to table a no-confidence motion against the N Biren Singh government.
Though the Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats in the last assembly elections in 2017, the BJP with 21 MLAs had managed to muster enough support in the 60-seat Assembly to form government.
Currently, the Manipur Assembly has 59 members as one Congress MLA who joined the BJP was disqualified.
The NPP in Meghalaya, which is also leading a coalition government, reportedly said there was no threat to the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance. But there had been murmurs within the coalition about the NPP’s double standards on the issue of citizenship bill.
Amid the political drama, the Manipur High Court on Thursday directed that “the judgment/order which is reserved and to be pronounced today by the Speaker, shall be kept in abeyance till tomorrow (Friday)”.
As political parties fine-tuned their strategies for the power game, Manipur observed the 19th June Uprising on Thursday. Citizens paid tributes to the 18 persons who died in a firing by security personnel in 2001.