BJP-led government in Manipur wins trust vote
Imphal: The BJP-led Manipur government on Monday won the trust vote 28-16 in the Assembly following a hectic day-long debate after Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had moved a confidence motion.
Eight Congress MLAs skipped the proceedings of the House, defying the party whip. The Congress MLAs who were present demanded a division but Speaker Y. Khemchand Singh rejected their plea after which angry Congress lawmakers threw chairs in the well of the House.
“We have won the trust vote by voice vote. Whatever the Speaker is doing is as per the rules. The opposition MLAs were in less numbers,” Chief Minister Singh told the media after the crucial trust vote.
BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav congratulated Singh soon after the trust motion got the endorsement of the House.
The advisor to the Chief Minister, Rajat Sethi, said in a tweet: “Devious plans of the Congress to destabilise the government have failed. Congrats CM.”
The crucial one-day session of the Manipur Assembly was called on Monday to decide on the confidence motion moved by the Chief Minister. The spokesperson of the Opposition Congress in Manipur, Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, said that instead of accepting the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress, the Manipur Assembly has accepted the motion of confidence moved by the BJP government.
Meitei said: “Opposition leader (former Chief Minister) O. Ibobi Singh has categorically stated that the Speaker didn’t allow for division of vote despite all the Congress MLAs demanding the same instead of voice vote in the House. The Speaker’s action was totally undemocratic.”
The ruling coalition and the main opposition Congress had issued separate whips to their members to attend the Assembly on Monday and vote following their respective party lines. A noisy scene was witnessed in the House after the BJP-led alliance won the confidence motion.
The Manipur government had plunged into a serious political crisis on June 17 after the four-member National People’s Party (NPP), the sole Trinamool Congress MLA, and an Independent MLA withdrew their support while three BJP MLAs quit the party and joined the Congress.
The nine-day-long political crisis ended with the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national President J.P. Nadda, Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP national President Conrad K. Sangma and Assam Minister and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The effective strength of the Manipur assembly is 53, including Speaker Y. Khemchand Singh, following the disqualification of four members, including former minister Th Shyamkumar, and the resignation of three BJP MLAs. The disqualification of Trinamool Congress legislator T. Robindro by the Speaker was stayed by the Manipur High Court.
During the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls, two Congress MLAs had cross voted to ensure the victory of saffron party nominee and Manipur’s titular Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishemba.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, the CongressAhad emerged as the single largest party securing 28 seats, but the BJP, which bagged 21 seats, stitched a coalition government with the support of four NPP MLAs, four Naga People’s Front MLAs, the lone TMC MLA and an Independent member.
Seven Congress MLAs also joined the BJP subsequently. Demanding the disqualification of the seven MLAs, the Congress had in January this year filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which had asked the Speaker to take appropriate steps.