Himanta signals Manipur crisis averted, CM’s fate uncertain


New Delhi BJP’s troubleshooter in the northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma, had to step in once again as did the party’s ‘Super President’ Amit Shah, who despite relinquishing the top post early this year, was required to intervene in an attempt to save the troubled NPP-BJP government in Manipur.

However, after the crucial meeting in the national capital, Sarma, the North East Democratic Alliance chief tweeted that “both BJP and NPP will continue to work together for the development of Manipur”.

Not only Sarma and Shah were present but Conrad Sangma, who heads the NPP and is also the Meghalaya CM was also present in the meeting. NPP’s Manipur unit went rogue and threatened to join the Congress-led alliance if there is no change of Chief Minister in the state.

Manipur’s Deputy Chief Minister S. Jooykmar was also part of the meeting. Earlier on Tuesday evening, the 4 dissident NPP MLAs were flown to Delhi by Sangma and Sarma.

While Sarma claims that the two parties will continue to work together in Manipur, suggesting the problem is averted, it is however unclear whether it means that Chief Minister Biren Singh will be replaced or not. The 4 NPP MLAs earlier called it a “non negotiable” demand of theirs.

Just before the Rajya Sabha elections on June 17, 3 BJP MLAs resigned and joined the Congress. At the same time, four ministers of the ally National People’s Party also resigned due to resentment and withdrew support from the government.

Another independent along with a Trinamool Congress MLA too parted ways from the Biren Singh government. After the rebellion of a total of nine MLAs, the Biren Singh government came under threat. However, the BJP was successful in winning one seat in the Rajya Sabha elections held on June 19.

Earlier, Sarma was scrambled to Imphal on June 23 to salvage the situation. During his stay there, he tried to persuade the MLAs to meet Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Cornad Sangma, who is also the National President of the NPP met the dissidents separately and along with Sarma at Imphal where the 4 agreed to listen to what the BJP high command had to say. This, even as BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav flew into Imphal. However, he reasoned that he went there to congratulate the newly elected BJP Rajya Sabha member from the state.

The rebels also met BJP President J.P. Nadda.

While, Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed to bring a “permanent solution” to the recurring political turmoil in Manipur, before he flew in to the national capital, what remains unclear is how far that has been achieved and whether that has been achieved at the cost of a leadership change in the state of Manipur, something that the BJP has so far avoided.

So far the Biren Singh government has sounded defiant, thwarting efforts of the Congress which has been demanding a special session of the assembly to bring a no confidence motion against his government. (IANS)