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Five ex-MLAs quit Cong in Mnp, join NEIDP

Five ex-MLAs quit Cong in Mnp, join NEIDP
Five former Congress MLAs joining NEIDP in Imphal on Thursday. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, Mar 21 | Publish Date: 3/21/2019 11:59:24 AM IST

In a major setback to Congress party in Manipur ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, five former MLAs of the party quit the party on Thursday to join regional party, North East India Development Party (NEIDP).

Among the five, NEIDP has offered the post of its state unit president to Dr Ng Bijoy Singh while announcing RK Anand Singh to be party’s candidate for the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

Apart from Dr Ng Bijoy and RK Anand Singh, the three other former MLA of the Congress who lost the elections in the last state Assembly elections in 2017 are K Sharatkumar, Dr I Ibohanbi Singh and E Chand Singh.

Interestingly, Dr Bijoy and RK Anand were among the intending candidates of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections who applied for party (Congress) ticket. They were the spokespersons of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).

Their quitting the Congress came up amidst speculations that Congress is likely to field few faces for the two Lok Sabha seats from the state even by dropping its sitting MPs.

NEIDP celebrated the joining of the five former Congress leaders to the party, in a function held at its office in Imphal in which working president Narengbam Samarjit Singh and other leaders of regional party came to existence since December 2015.

The party is yet to open its account in the state Assemblies where the party is based. The party has its units in some of the states in the Northeast region.

The joining of the five former MLAs of the party, appears to boost the morale of the party as it declared contesting the ensuing Lok Sabha polls by fielding party’s nominees in both the parliamentary constituencies in the state.

The party currently extends its support to the BJP-led coalition government had remained silent about fielding its candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls until March 21 when it announced fielding its candidates in both in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency and Outer Manipur Parliamentary (Reserved) Constituency.

RK Anand who joined the party on March 21 will contest the election from Inner Manipur PC while Ashang Kasar will be fielded in the Outer Manipur (Reserved) PC, the party president and former Congressman, Dr Bijoy said.

Dr Bijoy was addressing a news conference at his new office in the afternoon on March 21 where four other former Congressmen who quit the party were present with him among others.

Dr Bijoy said that he and his colleagues left behind the Congress as they have no more faith with national parties of the country.

“National parties always neglected regional and state issues. Acting on the behest of the high command is the order of the national parties. We no more have faith with the national parties,” he said.

The quitting of the five former MLAs from the Congress came up barely a day after AICC chief Rahul Gandhi was in the state on his two day visit to launch party’s election campaign for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

A source from the state Congress said that the five ex-MLAs had recently resigned from the party over the issue of admission of new personalities from their respective constituencies who they considered as their future rivals.

Also,  Dr Bijoy and RK Anand were among party members who sought party ticket to contest the ensuing Lok Sabha election and they resigned from the party fearing non-offering of party ticket, the source alleged.

Interestingly, the two Congress spokespersons and party ticket seekers quit the party amidst the speculations that AICC was considering offering party’s ticket to new faces for contesting from the two Lok Sabha seats.

Like the ruling BJP, the Congress who will fight the elections to retain both the seats currently occupied by its nominees is yet to announce party’s candidates even as only a day is left to file the nomination papers for the Outer Manipur PC and two days for the Inner Manipur PC.

The last date of filing nomination for the Outer PC is on March 25. However, no nomination can be submitted on March 22, 23 (Holidays for Holi Festival) and 24 (Sunday).

The last date for allowing submission of nomination for the Inner PC is on March 26. The notifications allowing filing of nomination papers for both the constituencies had already issued on March 18 and 19 respectively.

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