Crisis blows over for Manipur CM Biren Singh

BJP high command decides against leadership change in the State

Published - October 04, 2019 04:32 am IST - New Delhi

A file picture of Biren Singh.

A file picture of Biren Singh.

The crisis over Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh seems to have passed with the BJP high command in New Delhi having taken a decision that there will not be a change of leadership in the State’s government.

According to top sources in the BJP, Mr. Singh along with other MLAs met with BJP president Amit Shah, working president J.P.Nadda and general secretary organisation B.L.Santhosh late on Wednesday evening and had a patient hearing from all the three.

He had been facing dissidence from within his own government and also protests over the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which home minister Amit Shah had declared would be coming soon, before undertaking a National Registration of Citizens (NRC) exercise in several parts of the country.

Cabinet reshuffle

BJP leadership told Mr. Singh that a senior leader from Delhi will be sent to Manipur soon to settle the internal issues within the party, including, possibly effecting a Cabinet reshuffle in the State that could go a long way in calming tempers.

The issue of CAB has also led to protests in the State, with some dissidents raising this as an issue that requires sensitive handling.

Sensitive issue

According to senior BJP leaders in the know, Mr. Shah has assured that there would be nothing done to affect the culture and rights of the indigenous population in the State, but while the hill areas are protected under Article 371(c) of the Constitution, those residing in the Valley, the Sanamahi and Hindu Meiteis both, are sensitive over the issue.

The Manipur Assembly had passed the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018 in July last year aimed at providing protection to the Meiteis in the Valley. That measure is still pending with the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The State unit is hoping that it goes through and some of the negative perception over the CAB in the State can be ameliorated. The CAB aims at providing a path to Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists fleeing religious persecution from India's neighbouring countries. With a porous border with Bangladesh, north-eastern States have been nervous that it could lead to swamping by Bengali Hindus.

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