BJP praises N. Biren Singh after trust win
The stocks of Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh in the ruling BJP appear to be soaring after he won the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls and the August 10 trust vote. He not only managed to keep the coalition intact but also dealt a severe blow to the Opposition Congress that was fancying its chances of unseating the state government due to the turmoil in the ruling dispensation, BJP and Congress insiders said.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav lavished praise on him during the induction of five of the six Congress MLAs, who had resigned soon after the August 10 trust vote in Manipur.
The newly inducted members include Okram Henry Singh, the nephew of former Congress chief minister and incumbent CLP leader Okram Ibobi Singh.
Madhav said at the induction the “respect” of the people and the MLAs of the state towards the Narendra Modi government and Biren Singh has thwarted all attempts by the Congress to dislodge a popular government.
The chief minister took the new members to Delhi on a chartered flight on Sunday. The sixth MLA who resigned from the Congress, Muhammad Abdul Nasir, along with MLA R.K. Imo Singh, also accompanied Biren Singh. Imo Singh, son-in-law of the chief minister, was on Thursday expelled by the Congress for six years for “anti-party” activities.
The five former MLAs who joined the BJP are Henry Singh, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Ngamthang Haokip, Ginsuanhau and Paonam Brojen Singh. They were inducted in the presence of party vice-president Baijayant Panda.Later, they met BJP national president J.P. Nadda.
Talking to The Telegraph, state BJP president S. Tikendra Singh said that the developments since June are a “part and parcel” of politics. “We have been able to successfully overcome these challenges. I have tried my best to bridge the gap between the government and MLAs and the party. Our efforts have yielded results,” Tikendra said when asked about government’s future.
The development has strengthened the hands of Biren Singh, who was in spot before the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls, when nine MLAs supporting his coalition government withdrew support. But he not only ensured that the BJP won the polls 28-24 but also the trust vote on August 10 by voice vote 28-16 after eight Congress MLAs abstained from the proceedings.
Ibobi Singh had dubbed the “undemocratic trust vote” a “murder of democracy” because the Speaker, Y. Khemchand Singh, did not allow division of votes despite a demand by the Congress.
Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, reacting to the development, said, “Those who left Congress to join BJP have betrayed the voters and party workers who have elected them on Congress tickets. Manipur’s BJP government can’t face division vote in the House and it has failed to transfer Zou drugs case to CBI. People will reject betrayers.”
The strength of the 60-member House is now 47. There will be bypolls to 13 seats later this year. The Biren Singh-led coalition government came to power in 2017.