Two former ministers, Congress spokesperson join BJP ahead of Manipur bypolls

In yet another significant political development in Manipur, two former ministers and spokesperson of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (I) joined chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the by-elections in the state.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh and president S Tikendra of the BJP Manipur led party leaders including MPs and ministers to felicitate the three prominent leaders and a lady social worker at the Durbar Hall of the CM’s bungalow in Imphal on Monday.

The two former ministers who joined the BJP are senior Congress leader N Mangi of the Kumbi assembly constituency and A Biren Singh of the Jiribam assembly constituency while the MPCC (I) spokesperson was O Nabakishore who had contested the last Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket. The lady social worker was S Kebisana of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa constituency.

Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Biren Singh said more and more people are joining BJP in view of the people-oriented development activities in the last three and half years in the state. “Today’s event shows people’s support for the party,” he said.

Later in a tweet, he wrote, “Former Lok Sabha candidate, Gen Secy @INCIndia and retired IAS O Nabakishore along with senior Congressman and former Minister N. Mangi, Pradhans and others joined @BJP today.”

Last month, a total of 28 Congress party members and office bearers from the Singhat constituency led by its president Henkhopao alias HP Haokip joined the BJP.

Manipur will go for by-elections in five assembly constituencies on November 7. Elections to the legislative assembly will be held in Wangoi in Imphal West district, Saitu in Kangpokpi district, Singhat in Churachandpur district, Lilong and Wangjing-Tentha both in Thoubal district.

The last date for filing nomination is October 20 followed by scrutiny and the last date of withdrawal of candidature on October 21 and 23 respectively. Polling will be held on November 7 while counting and completion of the election process will be on November 10 and 12 respectively.

By-election to the five Assembly constituencies was needed after their respective sitting MLAs resigned from the membership of the Manipur Legislative Assembly in August.

Currently, 13 assembly constituencies are lying vacant in the 60-member Manipur Legislative Assembly following disqualification and resignation of MLAs.

The BJP-led government in Manipur came to power in March 2017 with the support of four MLAs each from NPP and NPF, besides one MLA each from TMC, Lok Janshakti Party, and an Independent in the 60-member House.

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