Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla has invited the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government in the state led by the party's N Biren Singh.
The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place at 1 pm tomorrow, according to a statement released by Raj Bhavan.
The BJP has selected Nongthombam Biren Singh as its chief ministerial candidate and he has staked claim to form the government.
Although the BJP won 21 seats in the 60-member Manipur Assembly, 7 less than the Congress, the former claims it has support of 33 legislators.
Earlier today, the two parties clashed over government formation in the state, with Congress accusing the BJP of "stealing" the mandate of people using money power, drawing a sharp reaction from the latter that it complains "a bit too much".
CHORUS OF RESENTMENT AGAINST BJP'S GOVT FORMATION BID
Joining the chorus of voices of resentment accusing BJP of "undermining democracy" in Manipur and also Goa by use of money power was Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Accusing the BJP of horse-trading, the Congress has claimed that it should have been instead invited to form the government by the Governor but it suffered a setback when the National People's Party (NPP) denied that it had sent any letter of support to the Congress Party.
Congress and its UPA allies staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha during the Question Hour today to protest against government formation by BJP in Goa and Manipur despite its having the numbers. The Congress again walked out during the Zero Hour. Members of Congress, NCP and RJD had first raised the issue during the Question Hour.
When asked why Congress delayed staking its claim for government formation, Rahul said, "It is not about how soon they went to the Governor to stake claim to form the government, but how much money the BJP gave to steal the mandate of Goa and Manipur."
Meanwhile, Najma Heptullah has said that according to the Supreme Court's ruling, it was her responsibility in her capacity as Manipur's governor to see who had the majority and would work for the state's stability.
Ruling of SC says responsibility of Governor is to see who has majority & will work for state's stability: Najma Heptulla, Governor Manipur pic.twitter.com/AR8cu38mWT
- ANI (@ANI_news) March 14, 2017
VENKAIAH QUESTIONS CONG's PROTEST
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu questioned the Congress protest on the issue of government formation in Manipur and Goa and said the "party has no moral right to do so".
In Manipur, the BJP, which is the second largest party behind incumbent Congress, has claimed that it enjoyed the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member assembly.
Even Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has slammed the Congress for alleging that BJP stole the mandate of the electorate in Goa.
(WITH INPUTS FROM PTI)