TODAY -

'Truce pact' worked out, NPP returns to BJP-led coalition
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 25 2020: Reversing their own decision which is not even a week old, the four NPP MLAs have returned to the BJP-led coalition.

Soon after coming back from Delhi where they were seemingly persuaded by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National president JP Nadda, the NPP MLAs submitted a letter to the Governor expressing their renewed support to the BJP-led coalition Government.

In another twist, Independent MLA from Jiribam AC Ashab Uddin and Paonam Brojen MLA from Wangjing Tentha who was elected on a Congress ticket have reportedly gone to the BJP camp.

Interestingly Ashab Uddin who previously backed the BJP switched side to the Congress just a few days back has now gone back to his earlier partner! Paonam Brojen was among the four Congress MLAs who was not disqualified just prior to the Rajya Sabha election on June 19.The four NPP MLAs' basic demand or condition for rejoining the coalition was replacement of Chief Minister N Biren.

But there is no indication so far of replacing the incumbent Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the Congress party's camp which was opened about a week back has been closed bringing the political drama to an end.

Notably, BJP-led coalition Government was reduced to a minority after nine MLAs, including the four NPP legislators pulled out of the Government on June 17 .

The dissidents openly declared their support to Opposition Congress.

NPP MLA L Jayantakumar went on record saying their resolve to topple the Biren Government was non-negotiable.

As the political crisis was going out of hand, North East Democratic Alliance convenor and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and NPP president Conrad Sangma who is also the Chief Minister of Meghalaya came to Imphal twice and made all efforts to bring back the NPP MLAs within the fold of the BJP-led coalition.

As they could not break the ice, Himanta Biswa and Conrad Sangma took the four NPP MLAs to Delhi in a special flight on June 23 .

After holding talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National president JP Nadda together with Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma, the NPP MLAs came back to Imphal this afternoon.

Even as The Sangai Express made several attempts to contact the four NPP MLAs to know the terms and conditions they agreed with the BJP Central leaders for their return to the BJP-led coalition, all their phones were found either switched off or the phone calls were never picked up.

When the same questions were put to NPP officials, they replied that they have no idea.

Nonetheless, they maintained that the terms of agreement would be known tomorrow after holding a meeting between the MLAs and office bearers of the party.

On arrival at Imphal airport together with the four MLAs, Conrad Sangma said BJP National president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured the NPP that they would personally address the various issues and grievances.

"We had a meeting yesterday with BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

We expressed our grievances and concerns that we were having as a political party in this alliance.

We expressed everything in details and both understood what the problem is.

They assured us that all issues will be addressed and taken care of.

They will personally look into these issues.

As such, we have decided to withdraw the resignations and the NPP will continue to support the BJP-led Government," Conrad Sangma said.

He said that the four NPP MLAs will continue as Ministers like before but with some changes in their portfolios.

"We decided on continuing our support to the BJP in the interests of Manipur and its people," the Meghalaya CM added.

Later, the four NPP MLAs went to the Raj Bhavan together with Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma.

There ex-Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar submitted a letter to the Governor expressing their renewed support to the BJP-led coalition Government.

Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma then called on Chief Minister N Biren and conveyed the four NPP MLAs' decision to support the BJP-led coalition.

As the resignations of the four NPP MLAs from the Council of Ministers have not been approved yet, there would not be any need for swearing them in afresh.

A notification issued by the Governor would suffice for the NPP MLAs to resume service as Cabinet Ministers, sources informed.

Following the settlement of the political crisis, BJP National general secretary Ram Madhav who reached Imphal two days back, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma left Imphal this evening.

While Ram Madhav was seen off by Chief Minister N Biren, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma were seen off by Works Minister Th Biswajit, BJP MLA L Susindro (Yaima) and the four NPP MLAs.

Meanwhile, BJP MLAs who have been camping at Classic Grande raised an uproar this evening on learning about the arrangement to accommodate all the four NPP MLAs as Cabinet Ministers.

Reports said that the Chief Minister earlier assured the BJP MLAs that only two NPP MLAs would be given Ministerial berths even if all four of them come back.

As such, the BJP MLAs were hoping that at least two of them would get Ministerial berths.

On learning about the uproar, Chief Minister N Biren went to Classic Grande and tried to pacify the agitated MLAs apart from briefing them about the meeting held between BJP Central leaders and NPP MLAs.


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