Both BJP and Congress Stake Claim to Form Government in Manipur

CM Ibobi cautioned the voters in Manipur against BJP’s “misleading tactics”

The BJP is confident of claiming its stake to form a government in Manipur, after the National People’s Party (NPP) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) extended their support, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh on Sunday met Governor Najma Heptulla to stake a claim to form the next state government. Earlier in the day, Ibobi was re-elected as the Congress Legislature Party leader in the meeting for the fourth time.

BJP submitted a list of 32 MLAs to governor Najma Heptullah on Sunday and furnished letters of support from regional parties.

BJP claimed the support of National People's Party (4 MLAs), Naga People's Front (4), LJP (1) and two others.

In the final results after counting votes on Saturday, the Congress was leading with 28 seats against BJP's 21, an impressive performance by all accounts.

Also Read: Congress Accuses BJP of ‘Murdering’ Democracy in Manipur, Goa

However, in the latest developments in the state, one Congress and one TMC MLA have defected to the BJP, helping it to cross the simple majority mark, BJP MLA from Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma told news agency PTI.

According to India Today, sources said over half a dozen more Congress MLAs are ready to switch over to the saffron party. It added that the MLAs are in talks with the state BJP.

Madhav said that the BJP will meet Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah to lay stake to form the government. Extending support to the BJP, the president of NPP, Conrad Sangma said:

National Peoples’ Party is in alliance with BJP at the Centre; was natural for us to work with them in Manipur too.

Madhav said that as per an "understanding" with another NDA partner Naga People's Front (NPF), which has won four seats, the number would go up to 30 and the support of one more MLA would be "secured".

He said on Saturday that the NPF had issued a press statement wherein it said it was willing to form a non-Congress government in Manipur.

The NPF bagged four seats and LJP won a single seat on Saturday in Manipur elections, which threw up a hung assembly with the ruling Congress bagging 28 of the 60 seats and the BJP making giant strides to muster 21. None of the two mainstream parties were able to cross the magic figure of 31 in the Assembly.

(With inputs from PTI and India Today.)