BJP-Congress tug of war heats up

IMPHAL, Apr 19: In their efforts to stabilise the incumbent coalition Government, BJP has been working continuously to lure some Congress MLAs    into its camp.
At the same time, rival Congress party which emerged as the single largest party by wresting 28 seats in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election has been investing all efforts to take not only the four NPP MLAs, one AITC MLA and one independent MLA but also six BJP MLAs within its fold.
Notably, the four NPP MLAs, one AITC MLA, one LJP MLA and the lone independent MLA  are coalition partners of the incumbent Government headed by Chief Minister N Biren.
At present, the Biren Government has 34 MLAs including two Congress MLAs who defected to rival BJP. It is being speculated that four other Congress MLAs would join BJP shortly.
Many people were even talking that the four Congress MLAs would be accorded a warm reception at the office of BJP Manipur  Pradesh today.
Out of 28 MLAs elected on Congress tickets, two Congress MLAs namely Th Shyamkumar (Andro AC) and Ginsuanhau (Singngat AC) have already defected to BJP.
One well known Congress MLA told The Sangai Express that the defectors would face disqualification cases and they would be disqualified most certainly.
Interestingly, some Congress MLAs including MPCC president TN Haokip are presently lodged at Delhi.
Their trip to Delhi is a highly significant political manoeuvre and the Congress party would go all out to topple the BJP-led Government.
Congress has already finalised a strategy to bring not only the four NPP MLAs, the lone AITC and the independent MLA but also six BJP MLAs within its fold. People will soon see a dramatic political development in the State, claimed the Congress MLA.
On the other hand, a firm ground seems to be eluding NPP which has four MLAs. The way NPP MLA and Health & Family Welfare Minister L Jayantakumar tendered his resignation letter to the Chief Minister citing undue interference in his duties and functions as a Minister is pregnant with political implications.
Incidentally, NPP has also been allotted the portfolio of Deputy Chief Minister.
Even as it was claimed that the issue had been settled after NPP president Conrad Sangma came to Imphal and held a meeting  with the State Government, a sore feeling will exist between NPP and Chief Minister N Biren, said the Congress MLA.
By inducting three Cabinet Ministers, the Council of Ministers was expanded on March 23. A tea party was held on the same day at the Raj Bhavan after the newly inducted Cabinet Ministers were sworn in.
It was interesting to note that North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa was seated to the right of Chief Minister N Biren followed by the Governor and ex-Chief Minister O Ibobi.
Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar was seated next to O Ibobi and the two shared long moments of cordial chat and camaraderie which was closely observed by Himanta Biswa.
Himanta Biswa stood up and even attempted to join the informal talk going on between Ibobi and Joykumar.
As the party wound up and the participants started moving out, Himanta Biswa called Ibobi thrice addressing the latter as ‘Sir’ and appealed “Don’t take away any one at the moment’.
Ibobi responded to  Himanta Biswa with a hearty laugh.
The entire scene exposed that Himanta Biswa had a nagging feeling of insecurity.
Whatever may be the case, it seems that the tug of war between BJP and Congress has been going on in full swing, opined many political pandits.


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