Thursday, January 21, 2021
North East

Manipur pol crisis: NDA’s central leadership apprised of Sangma, Himanta patch-up talks

Imphal, June 22: The NDA’s central leadership has been apprised of discussions Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had with the legislators of the BJP and the NPP to find a way out of the political stalemate in Manipur triggered by the resignation of nine ruling coalition members, sources in the two parties said on Monday.
Sangma, who is also the national president of the regional outfit, National People’s Party (NPP), and BJP’s troubleshooter Sarma met legislators of the two parties during their day-long visit on Sunday to Manipur, where the Congress has cobbled a new alliance to oust the BJP-led coalition from power.
Assam minister Sarma is also convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
The two returned from the Manipur capital late Sunday night.
Conrad Sangma, before leaving Imphal, said the Manipur issue has been brought to the notice of the central leadership of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The two senior leaders had flown here to hold talks with the legislators of the BJP as well as its regional ally NPP to iron out differences between the two parties.
The NPP is also part of the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance coalition.
The government led by N Biren Singh plunged into trouble after nine members of the BJP-led coalition, including four ministers of the NPP, resigned last Wednesday.
Sangma is heading a government in Meghalaya and is in alliance with the BJP in the state. The BJP’s two MLAs had also contributed to his party nominee’s victory in the Rajya Sabha poll.
The opposition Congress had questioned why Sangma and Sarma were not quarantined under COVID-19 norms like the two AICC observers-Ajay Maken and Gaurav Gogoi- when they arrived in Imphal last Friday.
Manipur Congress President Moirangthem Okendra had highlighted the issue the previous day and described it as “highly condemnable”.
“Maken and Gogoi were quarantined by the Manipur government. Are the norms valid only for Congress people? Is this your political revenge? Is law not equal for all?” Assam Congress spokesperson Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjee had also asked.
Reacting to this, Sarma, who is leading the fight against the novel coronavirus is Assam, had said on Sunday that no rule related to COVID-19 guidelines has been violated by him.
“A person who comes for a day-long visit is exempted from quarantine in both Assam and Manipur,” said Sarma.
Besides the NPP ministers, the rest five who tendered resignation included three rebel BJP MLAs, the lone All Indian Trinamool Congress legislator and an Independent.
After the victory of the BJP candidate Leishemba Sanajaoba in Rajya Sabha polls, the party claimed that it is in command in Manipur.
But, without a final decision on the disqualification cases against the seven Congress MLAs who had crossed over to the BJP shortly after the 2017 state polls, proving its majority in the 60-member house would be a difficult task for the ruling dispensation in the present condition when nine of its legislators have left.
The cases of the Congress MLAs are pending under anti-defection law with the Manipur High Court as well with the Speaker’s Tribunal.
The newly-formed Congress-led Secular Progressive Front (SPF) has claimed that the government has lost majority and trust vote should be held.
Sarma had played a key role in stitching the coalition in 2017. The BJP, which had 21 MLAs, had joined hands with the NPP, Naga People’s Front, an independent and a member each from the LJP and Trinamool Congress to form the government . (PTI)

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