Congress MLA also leans over as BJP crosses Manipur halfway mark

Manipur Chief Minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh today met Governor Najma Heptulla to stake a claim to form the next state government.

The party's national general secretary Ram Madhav had said in Imphal that the BJP has the numbers to form a government.

BJP, which won 21 seats in the assembly elections held earlier this month, achieved the vaunted 31-seat mark earlier in the day with the support of its ally Naga People's Front (NPF) (4 seats), and the NPP (4 seats), LJP (1) and one Independent.

Party state president K Bhabananda Singh said, "After the victory in the Lok Sabha elections, the party felt the need to increase its foot print in the northeast as the region is very important in our party's vision of overall development and a Congress-free India".

The NPF, on its part, also announced it will support any non-Congress Government thus indicating its inclination to go with the BJP.

In the 60-member Manipur assembly, the Congress has again emerged as the leading political party with 28 seats, while the saffron party had captured 21 seats.

Besides, one Congress MLA and the lone Trinamool Congress legislator extended support to the BJP in evening.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the BJP has sought an appointment with Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, in a possible bid to stake claim for government formation. "We will talk to the TMC and Independent candidates also", BJP leader and MLA from Heingang N Biren said in Imphal.

Asked if the Congress was open to an alliance with the NPF, Haokip replied in the negative. 'As per the Constitution and norms, the single largest party is always invited to form the government.

Both the NPP and the NPF are BJP alliance partners in the North East Democratic Alliance and NDA at the Centre.

"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.

Shyam Kumar, the Congress MLA from Andro constituency, will resign and contest on a BJP ticket which means he will be disqualified, bringing down the total number of Manipur Assembly to 59.

  • Leroy Wright