BJP Govt in Manipur wins floor test

Sobhapati Samom
 IMPHAL, March 20 – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Manipur, headed by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh, won the floor test in a voice vote with the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly today.

Chief Minister Biren later expressed his willingness to work together and complete the pending work of the previous government.

BJP, which came second with 21 seats (seven less than Congress) in the election, later received the support of National People’s Party (4), Naga People’s Front (4), Lok Janshakti Party (1), All India Trinamool Congress(1), Congress (1) and the lone Independent MLA – taking its strength to 33 legislators.

Besides Biren, Th Biswajit is the only BJP MLA in the Cabinet. A total of four berths were allotted to NPP, with all four of the party’s MLAs being made Ministers. The lone Lok Janashakti Party MLA Karam Shyam and Naga People’s Front’s L Dikho, completed the list.

However, a Cabinet expansion is expected after the Assembly session which is scheduled to conclude on Thursday to accommodate more BJP legislators in the Ministry.

Meanwhile, BJP legislator Yumnam Khemchand Singh was elected Speaker of Manipur Assembly by a voice vote in the Assembly on Monday.

Khemchand beat former Minister and Congress MLA Govindas Konthoujam of Bishnupur constituency in the contest. The 54 year-old Taekwondo graduate Khemchand, was elected from Singjamei seat.

UNC leaders released: President of United Naga Council (UNC), Gaidon Kamei and Information and Publicity Secretary Shangkhel Stephen were released today unconditionally as per the understanding reached during Sunday’s tripartite talk involving Centre, State Government and UNC.

Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Imphal East Court issued an order in this connection on Monday. The Court has also directed the complainants to appear before the court by March 27 for disposal of the case.

PTI adds: There was no division of votes in the exercises which saw the lone TMC MLA also supporting the Nongthombam Biren Singh Government.

Lone Trinamool Congress MLA T Robindro Singh extended support to the BJP-led Government although his party’s central leadership alleged that he had “not consulted the party” over it.

“I have extended support to the BJP after consulting the party’s central leadership. I have neither violated the party’s order nor have done anything against its interests. Whatever the party had asked me to do, I have done that,” Singh said.

The TMC legislator argued that had he violated the party line he would have faced disciplinary action. “But that the party did not do any such thing means it stands by me,” Singh said.

Asked why the party has not taken any disciplinary action against him, TMC vice president Mukul Roy said, “We can take disciplinary action anytime, but we do not want to create a situation where he faces life risk.”

A three-day Budget session of the Assembly will begin tomorrow with the address of the Governor.

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