Imphal, June 20: The BJP candidate’s victory in the Rajya Sabha poll evidently settled the “majority and minority” issue, Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said, in an apparent dig at the Congress-led opposition seeking to oust him from power following the withdrawal of support by nine ruling coalition members, including four ministers.
While congratulating BJP candidate Leishemba Sanajaoba who romped home in the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state, the chief minister said “the success is evident enough to the matter related to which party is in majority and which one is in minority”.
Sanajaoba won the poll securing 28 votes against Congress candidate T Mangi Babu who got 24 votes, with eight MLAs not casting their votes in the house of 60 members.
“Concerning the majority and minority issue, there is no further need to deliberate on it again,” Biren Singh told media persons after meeting Sanajaoba at his palace on Friday night. The newly elected RS member is the titular king of Manipur.
The BJP candidate’s win clearly shows everything and I don’t want to go in detail, he added.
With the Rajya Sabha poll in Manipur taking place in the backdrop of high political drama triggered by the resignation of nine ruling members, the BJP nominee’s victory reflects that they still command the majority and the opposition claims of the ruling dispensation having been reduced to a minority after resignations does not stand the test of numbers.
Smelling a chance, the Congress had stepped up efforts to oust the BJP-led government by urging Governor Najma Heptullah on Thursday to convene a special assembly session for taking up a no-confidence motion against the Biren Singh dispensation.
The delegation to the Raj Bhawan under Congress legislature party leader O Ibobi Singh that included members of the National People’s Party (NPP) had claimed before the Governor that they command the numbers and the incumbent government has fallen short of majority.
In the memorandum to Governor Heptullah, they had claimed support from all members of the newly formed Secular People’s Front, including the Congress, NPP, All India Trinamool Congress and independent MLAs.
Thanking the ally National People’s Front (NPF) MLAs and those who voted for Sanajaoba and also the people for their love and support which has made this possible, Biren Singh said his government will now again focus on COVID-19 situation to check the infection spread as they were doing earlier.
The RS polls were held out of necessity at this difficult period of COVID and have sought the apology of the public, he added.
He also lauded the opposition MLAs for ensuring “a healthy election in a peaceful manner.”
Meanwhile, Sanajaoba said he would now be able to translate his wishes into action to work for the people irrespective of any distinction among all ethnic groups.
“I could not accomplish much due to financial constraints and other limitations earlier but now I will be able to work for the people in a larger capacity,” he said.
Of the nine members tendering resignation on Wednesday, the BJP MLAs S Subhashchandra Singh, T T Haokip and Samuel Jendai who resigned from the primary membership of the party and the assembly could not cast their votes.
Four NPP ministers, who had withdrawn their support from the ruling coalition, have exercised their franchise during the poll.
The lone Trinamool Congress MLA T Robindro Singh, who also pulled out of the N Biren Singh-led dispensation, was not allowed to cast his vote. He lodged a complaint to the Election Commission in this regard.
In his complaint, Robindro Singh said he was disqualified by the Speaker under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution on Thursday “without following the due process”.
The 10th Schedule, which is also known as the anti-defection law, was passed in Parliament in 1985. The aim of the anti-defection law is to prevent MPs and MLAs from switching political parties for any personal motive.
The TMC MLA claimed that he was not given any notice to put forward his defense.
Three Congress defectors — Ksh Biren Singh, S Bira Singh and Surchandra Singh — were not allowed to cast their votes as cases are pending against them. However, the other four defectors could vote.
One recently disqualified MLA was also barred from taking part in the voting process.
Senior Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Gaurav Gogoi who reached Imphal on Friday evening to take stock of the developing political situation in the state were quarantined at two separate hotels following COVID-19 guidelines, sources in their party said.
Led by former Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, the Congress had again reached out to the Governor the previous evening. (PTI)