BJP engineered defection of Congress MLAs: Ex-CM Ibobi

Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 31 | Publish Date: 8/31/2020 1:02:08 PM IST

The Manipur Congress on Monday accused defected and resigned MLAs of making a “mockery” of democracy and accused the ruling BJP of engineering defections in the state.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said defections taking place in the state politics engineered by BJP made democracy a mockery. 

Hope people would teach them a befitting lesson if the contested in the upcoming by-elections to the Manipur Legislative Assembly, said Ibobi.

Defection severely hit the Congress party in the state when it lost 10 of its 28 legislators in the 60-seat State Assembly. 

And of the 18 effective strength of the party in the state, one MLA (RK Imo) who is allegedly close to saffron fold has been expelled for six years from the party recently and three MLAs who escaped disqualification are still close to the BJP.

Speaking at a function held at Imphal Congress Bhavan, Singh accused the former Congress legislators of leaving the party for their vested interest and personal gain. “Their acts not only mock democracy but also disrespect the five year mandate given by the people in the elections. They should be taught a befitting lesson when they come out to contest the by-election,” the former three time chief minister said.

In Manipur, by-elections are likely to hold in as many as 13 Assembly constituencies which are lying vacant after the Speaker disqualified four Congress legislators and nine (six Congress MLAs and three BJP MLAs) resigned as members of the State Assembly. The total number of seats where by-elections are to be held was yet to be confirmed as cases of some legislators were pending with the court.

However, as hinted recently by incumbent chief minister N Biren Singh, the by-elections to fill the vacant seats of the state Assembly are likely to be held along with general elections to the Bihar state Assembly due by October-November 2020.

BJP and its ruling partners in the Biren’s government are already gearing up for the by-elections and BJP is likely to send those former Congress legislators who joined the party as party candidates.


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