Days after being sworn in as the first BJP Chief Minister of Manipur, Nongthombam Biren Singh will undergo a floor test in the 60-member assembly on Monday. The saffron party is leaving no stone unturned to form government in the insurgency-hit state as newly elected BJP legislators had been lodged in a Guwahati hotel along with an Independent and a Trinamool Congress lawmaker since Thursday.
“There is nothing like fear of poaching by the Congress before the floor test. We are here just to relax and also meet some of our senior party leaders,” BJP lawmaker Thokchom Radheshyam Singh had told the Indian Express.
In a significant development, the United Naga Council (UNC), which had imposed an economic blockade on Manipur to protest the formation of seven new districts, lifted the restriction from March 19 midnight. The blockade, on for 139 days, had prevented the entry of essential goods from reaching the Imphal valley. The UNC’s decision, which was a key election plank of the BJP, was announced after tripartite talks between the central government, the Manipur government and the UNC on Sunday in Senapati district of Manipur. The BJP’s assurance was that the lifting of the blockade would be the first thing a government led by the party would deliver to the people of Manipur.
The BJP, which made giant strides by securing 21 seats in the recently held polls, formed the state government with support of four MLAs each of NPP and NPF, one LJP MLA and one each lawmaker from Congress and Trinamool Congress. Following the defection, the strength of the Congress in the house went down to 27 from its original 28.
Soon after the BJP staked claim to form the government, a war of words had erupted between both the parties with the Congress accusing the saffron party of a “manufactured majority” in Manipur. The grand old party criticised BJP for staking its claim through “illegal means”.