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Cong demands special session to take up no-confidence motion


IMPHAL, June 18 - The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Manipur today urged State Governor Dr Najma Heptulla to convene a special session of the Manipur Assembly to take up a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led coalition Government.

In a dramatic development last night, three BJP MLAs resigned from the party and six alliance MLAs withdrew their support, giving a body blow to the three-year-old coalition Government led by N Biren Singh.

Announcing this at a press conference here this evening, CLP leader O Ibobi Singh said that they had submitted a memorandum to the Governor, requesting for a special session of the Assembly to ask the BJP-led Government to prove its majority.

Ibobi Singh, a former Chief Minister, said that the Congress and some like-minded parties floated the Secular Progressive Front (SPF) in a meeting held here. The meeting also discussed framing of a common minimum programme, he added.

Meanwhile, the three BJP MLAs, who resigned from the party as well as the State Assembly, have joined the Congress. The six other alliance MLAs who withdrew support to the coalition Government, include four from the National People�s Party (NPP), one from the All Indian Trinamool Congress and one Independent. The Speaker of the Manipur Assembly has already accepted the resignations of the three BJP MLAs.

According to the CLP�s memorandum to the Governor, with seven Congress MLAs barred from entering the House by the High Court of Manipur, the strength of the Congress is now 20, while the BJP�s strength has been reduced to 18.

�The present ministry is now supported by only 23 MLAs,18 from the BJP, 4 from the NPF (Naga People�s Front) and 1 from LJSP (Lok Jan Shakti Party),� the memorandum said. �On the other hand, the SPF has 20 INC MLAs, 4 NPP MLAs, 1 MLA of AITC and 1 independent MLA, totalling 26 members out of an effective total house strength of 49 members.�

In the 2017 elections, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 28 MLAs. But the BJP with 21 members formed the Government with the support of the NPP (4), NPF (4), LJSP (1), Trinamool (1) and Independent (1).

It may be mentioned here that one Congress MLA was disqualified by the Speaker�s Tribunal, while seven others are facing disqualification charges for their alleged support to the BJP-led coalition Government.

A PTI report from Imphal adds: The Opposition has intensified efforts to form a Government in Manipur after nine members of the BJP-led ruling coalition, including four ministers, either resigned as MLAs or withdrew their support to the Biren Singh Government, plunging it in trouble.

Four ministers, including the Deputy Chief Minister, quit the BJP-led Government on Wednesday. Tribal and Hills Area Development Minister N Kayishii, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip, and Health and Family Welfare Minister L Jayanta Kumar Singh have resigned.

Besides, BJP MLAs S Subhashchandra Singh, TT Haokip and Samuel Jendai resigned from the Assembly and the party, following which the Congress claimed they have switched over.

Further, the State�s lone Trinamool Congress MLA T Robindro and Independent Shahabuddin withdrew their support to the Government.

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