In the June 19 poll for the lone seat of the upper house of Parliament from Manipur, BJP's Leishemba Sanajaoba had defeated his Congress rival.
BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday asserted that the Biren Singh government in Manipur will complete its term till 2022, as the party intensified patch-up efforts with its regional ally National People’s Party (NPP). Madhav, who is the party’s pointsman for Northeastern states, arrived here on a day the CBI questioned Congress Legislature Party leader O Ibobi Singh in connection with a corruption case. Singh has been leading efforts to topple the BJP-led coalition government following the resignation of four NPP ministers last week.
The BJP General Secretary said questions regarding stability of the government are being raised for the past one year and it has been seen that the coalition ministry in Manipur has always been stable and winning elections. “Take it from me. We will be stable till 2022 (when next Assembly election will be held),” Ram Madhav told reporters at Imphal Airport.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh also sought to downplay the trouble that has besieged his ministry saying its a “family issue”, and exuded confidence that the political problem will be resolved soon. After the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP had formed a coalition ministry with the help of the regional outfit NPP and others. Meanwhile, the CBI questioned former chief minister Ibobi Singh at his residence here for nearly three hours on Wednesday in connection with alleged misappropriation of Rs 332 crore development funds between 2009 and 2017, when Singh was the chairman of the Manipur Development Society.
The Congress has alleged that it was a desperate bid to save the BJP-led government in Manipur. “Unlikely to save an unpopular leadership. This (is) nothing but an effort to buy time for a sinking ship. People will lose their faith in the CBI,” Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi had tweeted after the agency had summoned Ibobi Singh. The four former NPP ministers, whose resignation had plunged the Biren Singh ministry into turmoil, have been taken to the national capital for a meeting with the BJP central leadership for ironing out differences among the coalition partners.
During a fresh round of talks with the convenor of BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Tuesday the NPP leaders had stuck to their demand for change in the leadership of the BJP-led coalition government, BJP sources had said.
“You have been asking about stability of the Manipur government for last one year. It has been stable. It is winning elections,” Madhav said. “We are celebrating and felicitating our newly elected Rajya Sabha member today”, he said, adding it was a grand victory for the people of Manipur and the BJP leadership.
In the June 19 poll for the lone seat of the upper house of Parliament from Manipur, BJP’s Leishemba Sanajaoba had defeated his Congress rival. “Since ours is a coalition government and there is some issue of disputes, the national leadership is simply enquiring about the matter and it is a family issue,” Biren Singh told reporters on the premises of a city hotel where Ram Madhav met the state BJP leaders.
“We won (RS poll) by a margin of 28 to 24. Everything is transparent and is openly available to the people. There is no question of the party and government being shaky,” the chief minister said. As part of the efforts to repair cracks in the coalition in the state after the four NPP ministers walked out of the government, BJP on Tuesday took the four members of the regional outfit to Delhi for a meeting with central leaders to hammer out the differences.
Five other legislators, including three from the BJP, lone MLA of All India Trinamool Congress and an Independent, had also pulled out of the government. Sensing a chance, opposition Congress had roped in the nine rebels and formed a coalition called the Secular Progressive Front (SPF). A day after the resignations, they met Governor Najma Heptullah and urged her to convene a special session of the assembly for taking up a no-confidence motion against the Biren Singh government.