IMPHAL, May 19 - The Naga People�s Front (NPF), a coalition partner in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Manipur, has decided �in principle� to pull out of the ruling coalition after the Lok Sabha election process is completed.
The matter was discussed in a meeting of the party at its office in Kohima with its president Dr Shurhozelie in the chair on Saturday, a key functionary of NPF Manipur unit told The Assam Tribune.
Former Nagaland Chief Minister and NPF leader TR Zeliang, party MLAs from Nagaland and four NPF MLAs from Manipur also attended the meeting.
In facebook post on Saturday, Zeliang wrote, �After an intense deliberation and review meeting with the party functionaries and the NPF MLAs of Manipur, the NPF party has decided in principle to pull out our MLAs from the BJP-led Government in Manipur headed by N Biren Singh right after the election process to the Lok Sabha is completed.�
�This decision at this juncture is necessitated due to the indifferent attitude of the BJP towards us, its coalition partner in Manipur and also in the State of Nagaland. Further implementation of this decision will be finalised after the election process,� Zeliang added.
Four NPF MLAs joined the coalition government in Manipur after the BJP had emerged as the second largest party with 21 MLAs behind the Congress (28) after the Assembly elections in 2017. One of the NPF MLAs was given a Ministerial berth in the government.
Later, eight of the 28 Congress MLAs joined the BJP, taking its tally from 21 to 29 in the Assembly. The other parties in the ruling coalition are National People�s Party (4), Lokjansakti Party (1), Independent (1) and All India Trinamool Congress (1).
On Thursday, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president said the Congress is ready to step in to reclaim its rightful place if the coalition government crumbles.
PTI adds: NPF Manipur State unit president Awangbou Newmai Sunday said that �they were forced to take the decision to withdraw support as bigger parties were looking down upon smaller parties.�
A senior BJP leader said on Sunday that if the NPF withdraws support it will not have any effect on the coalition government.
The senior BJP leader said that the BJP has 29 MLAs and has the support of one legislator each of the LJP, AITC and an Independent in the 60-member Manipur Assembly. The NPF has four MLAs.
Newmai claimed the NPF was �forced� to take the decision to withdraw support as the �BJP has not honoured some of the agreements that were agreed upon when the coalition government was formed back in 2017.�
�We have been patient for some two years�, Newmai said, adding the bigger party �looks down on smaller groups.�
Still, as representatives of the people, �we desire that respect be given to other parties.�
�The BJP has never respected the spirit of alliance since the formation of government in 2017. There have been instances when their leaders have refused to consider our members as alliance partners,� he said, without elaborating.
The BJP has denied the allegations made by the NPF leader. The allegations made by the NPF are �totally baseless and unfounded�. All possible cooperation has been extended to our coalition partners for smooth functioning of the government, said a senior BJP leader.