Four National People”s Party (NPP) MLAs of Manipur returned to Imphal on Monday after meeting party president Conrad K Sangma in Shillong but refused to disclose whether they would continue in the BJP-led coalition government in the state.
The four legislators had left for Shillong on Saturday to meet Sangma, also the chief minister of Meghalaya, to discuss the political situation in Manipur after two of them were dropped as ministers in a cabinet reshuffle on September 24.
All the four NPP MLAs were ministers in the N Biren Singh government and they had earlier decided that the party will come out of the coalition ministry if anyone is dropped from the cabinet.
“We cannot say anything now (about continuing in the government). Time will reveal everything,” L Jayantakumar Singh who was dropped as health and family welfare minister told reporters after reaching Imphal.
He said that the NPP would be fielding candidates in the coming Assembly by-elections.
N Kayisii, the other NPP leader who lost his cabinet position, said that party president Sangma told the four MLAs to remain united.
The former tribal affairs and fisheries ministers also expressed dissatisfaction that the chief minister dropped two of the party’s ministers without informing the coalition partner. The four NPP ministers had resigned along with five other ruling coalition members on June 17 last throwing the Biren Singh ministry into turmoil. But following the intervention of Union Home minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda, they returned to the government and were reinstated in the cabinet.
Sangma and the BJP’s pointman for the Northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma had played an important role in ending the political impasse then.
Five seats recently fell vacant in the 60-member House in Manipur following resignation and disqualification of MLAs and by-polls will be held to fill these vacancies.
Biren Singh is heading a coalition government of the BJP, NPP, Naga Peoples Front (NPF) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
The lone LJP minister, along with three BJP members, was dropped too.
The chief minister also inducted five new faces in his council of ministers in the reshuffle. All the five belonged to the BJP and two of them had recently joined the saffron party from the Congress. PTI