Manipur political crisis: NPP MLAs flown out for a meeting with BJP leadership

A file picture of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh speaking in the Assembly, in Imphal.

A file picture of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh speaking in the Assembly, in Imphal.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Speculation about a patch-up rife after Meghalaya CM and an Assam Minister held closed-door parleys with them

Four MLAs of the National People’s Party (NPP), who had withdrawn support to the BJP-led government triggering a political crisis in Manipur last week, were on Tuesday flown to Guwahati.

Also read: 'Architectural change' in Manipur to save BJP-NPP government, says Hemanta Biswa Sarma

They were expected to be flown to Delhi from Guwahati for a meeting with the BJP’s central leadership to bring them back to the government.

For the second time in 48 hours, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a special flight to Imphal on Tuesday to hold closed-door parleys with the NPP lawmakers and three BJP leaders who had quit.

Editorial | Revolving door: On Manipur politics

While Mr. Sangma is the national president of the NPP, Mr. Sarma is the BJP’s trouble-shooter and convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, a BJP-helmed forum of most regional parties in the region. The NPP is a constituent of this forum.

The Nongthombam Biren government was reduced to a minority after nine MLAs — the four of NPP, the three of the BJP, one of the Trinamool Congress and an Independent — withdrew support and went to the Opposition Congress, which had subsequently staked claim to form an alliance government.

Neither the BJP nor the NPP disclosed what transpired in the meeting with the ‘rebels’, but it was apparent that they were unhappy with Mr. Biren’s ‘autocratic’ style of functioning. State NPP president Thangminlien Kipgen had on Monday made it clear that the Chief Minister was the main hurdle for them in rejoining the government.

Also read: BJP pursuing patch-up with NPP to secure government in Manipur

But speculation about a patch-up was rife when the NPP legislators accompanied Mr. Sangma and Mr. Sarma to the airport and flew out of Imphal in their special flight. The two leaders were learnt to have broken the ice during their meeting with the disgruntled MLAs on Sunday.

Tuesday also saw two Congress leaders — former Union Minister Ajay Maken and Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi, also the AICC’s Manipur in-charge — fly out to Guwahati. They had been in a quarantine centre in Imphal after landing there last week.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 9:09:01 AM |

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