MPP to back BJP in Manipur LS polls

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 23.03.14
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BJP and MPP leaders in Imphal on Saturday. Telegraph picture

Imphal, March 22: The Manipur unit of the BJP got a shot in the arm today with the Manipur People’s Party, the oldest regional party in the state, announcing support for the BJP candidates for Inner and Outer Manipur seats.

The support for the BJP candidates against the two sitting MPs of the Congress was announced by MPP president N. Sovakiran Singh during a news meet at the party office here today in the presence of BJP leaders.

“The BJP is the only party that can defeat the Congress. So, we have decided to support both their candidates,” Sovakiran Singh said.

He said the MPP puts the interest of the state above the party and wants to “save” Manipur from the “corrupt” Congress.

Sovakiran Singh today sent a letter to BJP president Rajnath Singh, conveying the party’s decision to extend support to the BJP.

The party has urged Rajnath Singh to include the issues of protection of Manipur territory, repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and implementation of the inner-line permit system, among others, in the BJP manifesto. The MPP was formed in 1968 by a breakaway group from the Congress and has had one chief minister. The party has also shared power for two terms.

Though the MPP did not win a single seat in the Assembly election in 2012, the BJP welcomed its support. The party had won five seats in the 2007 Assembly election. In the 2012 polls, four of them contested on tickets of other parties and won while the fifth was defeated.

“The MPP’s support at this crucial stage will strengthen the hands of the BJP in its fight against the Congress. We appreciate their stand,” the BJP’s Northeast in-charge, P.B. Acharya, who was present at the news meet, said.

“It is a historic day and a joyous moment for the BJP. The MPP’s support has strengthened our chance of defeating the Congress in both the seats,” state BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba Singh said.

The BJP is fielding former minister and historian Gangmumei Kamei against Congress MP Thangso Baite in Outer seat, while environmentalist and guest lecturer of Manipur University R.K. Ranjan Singh will fight Congress MP Thokchom Meinya Singh, who has represented Inner seat for two consecutive terms.

“The two Congress MPs have not raised issues plaguing Manipur in Parliament. Why should people elect them again? The BJP has a clear vision and it is committed to bring change in the country,” Acharya said.