Manipur 2017

Congress, BJP claim numbers in Manipur; independent MLA goes missing

Exsisting CM Okram Ibobi Singh is unanimously elected as the leader of Congress Legislature Party.   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

High drama ensued in Manipur over the disappearance and alleged “kidnapping” of the lone independent MLA on Sunday as both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are claiming that they have numbers to form government in the northeastern State.

According to Manipur Congress leadership Ashad Uddin, an independent MLA who won from Jiribam Assembly seat securing 8,189 votes, had ensured his support to Congress. However, when he reached Imphal Airport, with another Congress leader Abdul Nasir, he was taken away by the BJP leaders, Congress alleged.

“ On behest of the BJP, Independent candidate Asab Uddin (Jiribam, Manipur) has been detained forcefully by CISF and flown to an unknown location,” AICC leader C.P. Joshi who is in Manipur said on social media.

Supporters of the Congress and the BJP had both gathered outside the Imphal Airport for hours raising political temperatures.

As soon as the reports of Asad Uddin gone missing surfaced, the mood at the Congress Legislature Party meeting at the State party headquarters turned somber. State’s Chief Minister since 2002, Okram Ibobi Singh evaded any questions from the media on the possibility of forming government.

Ibobi Singh elected CLP leader

Meanwhile at the meeting, Okram Ibobi Singh was elected as the leader of Congress Legislature Party unanimously. Manipur Congres spokesperson Kh. Devabrata Singh said that the party will stake claim to form the government by meeting Governor Nejma Heptulla. With 28 Congress MLAs being elected the party is short of three legislators from the magic figure of 31 in the 60 member Assembly.

The only legislature of Trinamool Congress T. Robindro Singh elected from Thanga Constituency is with the Congress, party leaders claimed, even though the MLA remains elusive so far.

 

BJP confident of NPF and NPP support

The BJP, which has emerged as the second largest party with 21 seats is also confident that it will manage numbers by Monday. While the BJP leadership has claimed that Naga People’s Front ( NPF) is willing to support a non Congress government, the party on Sunday said its talks with National Peoples Party ( NPP) which also four MLAs has been "fruitful".

“ We had very fruitful discussions with NPP. They are most likely to support us. They are both of both NDA and North East Democratic Alliance ( NEDA),” Himata Biswa Sarma, prominent leader from Assam and convener of NEDA ( a political coalition of BJP and other non Congress parties in North east) said.

Mr. Sarma who along with BJP national secretary Ram Madhav is deciding on the party’s strategy in Manipur said that the party will have the numbers by Monday after which they will meet Governor to stake claim to form government.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 10:25:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/manipur-2017/congress-bjp-both-claim-numbers-in-manipur-independent-mla-goes-missing/article17451785.ece

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