In a new twist to the political drama in Manipur, the four National People’s Party (NPP) legislators, who had withdrawn support to N Biren Singh headed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government last week, left Imphal on Tuesday to meet central leaders in Delhi.
Prior to their departure from the Bir Tikendrajit International airport near Imphal in the afternoon, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said they will try to resolve the issue with the “spirit of friendship and solidarity”.
“This time we want to address all the issues raised by the MLAs. We want to resolve all the issues once for all so that we can concentrate on development and elections,” Sarma, who is also the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said.
Admitting that “this will be very productive and constructive engagement.”
Sarma along with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, who is also the national president of NPP, air dashed to Imphal on a chartered flight earlier in the day to meet leaders and resolve the ongoing political crisis.
Both Sarma and Sangma had already visited the state on Sunday.
Miffed at the functioning of chief minister Biren Singh, the four NPP MLAs along with one All India Trinamool Congress MLA and one Independent legislator had withdrawn support to the coalition government on June 17.
The same day three BJP MLAs resigned both from the party and membership of the Manipur Legislative Assembly taking the party’s tally to 18 and the coalition’s total to 23.
The NPP, a key member of the NEDA – a non-Congress political platform floated by the BJP after winning the Assam elections in 2016, has been a key BJP ally in Manipur too.
Despite the developments, the BJP’s candidate secured a win in the Rajya Sabha polls on June 19 securing 28 votes to the Congress nominee’s 24.
NPP chief Sangma and all the four NPP MLAs of the state refused to comment on the development.
The Congress, which has been seeking convening of a special assembly session to test the majority of the government, also refused to comment on the latest developments.