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Manipur political crisis: BJP central observers return to Delhi

Correspondent IMPHAL, Jul 25 | Publish Date: 7/25/2020 1:19:01 PM IST

After taking first hand stock of the internal discord among the ruling BJP legislators, BJP national vice-president Bijaiyant Panda and former Union minister Manoj Sinha left Imphal for New Delhi on Saturday.

 The two BJP central leaders came to Imphal on Thursday (July 23) with the primary task of resolving the discord among state BJP legislators after some party legislators demanded replacement of N Biren Singh as chief minister.
 From the first day of their arrival in Imphal, BJP national vice-president Bijaiyant Panda and former Union minister Manoj Sinha held a series of meetings with state party leaders and functionaries including ministers and legislators.
 The two central leaders met them individually and elicited their opinions and wishes at Hotel Grande, Imphal where they stayed.
 The four BJP ministers who were reportedly under home quarantine after they returned from Delhi and skipped a recently convened cabinet meeting also met with them. Of the four, the two central leaders took had the lengthiest discussion with works minister Th Bishwajit whom they met on Friday.
 They had also met some ministers of NPP and NFP, the coalition partners of the BJP in the N Biren Singh led coalition government separately.
 After completing the series of meetings, the two central leaders also met chief minister N Biren Singh at the latter’s official bungalow.
 State party leaderships, ministers and MLAs were tight-lipped about the purpose of the visit of the two central leaders.  Highly reliable sources however say that they were in Imphal to take stock of the discord among the legislators.
  Many of the party legislators have been demanding replacement of N Biren Singh as chief minister while some others were demanding ministry reshuffle. 
 The discord among the legislators of the ruling party was not a new one. It first appeared after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 The discord reappeared recently after the failed attempt of the opposition Congress to topple the coalition government in the middle of June this year.
 While the discord was yet to be resolved, the position of chief minister N Biren Singh is at stake after an MPS officer, in her affidavit submitted to the High Court of Manipur, alleged that the chief minister pressurized her to favour an arrested drug kingpin.
 It was during this development that  the four ministers of the party in the present coalition government had earlier met central leaders of the party  in Delhi and asked  them to resolve the matter.  In the coalition government, BJP has only five ministers including the chief minister.  Even though the four ministers had not divulged the purpose of their visit to the national capital, the visit of the two central leaders of the party has hinted that they had highlighted the matter of internal discord to the party central leadership.

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