State

NPF in ‘principle’ snap ties with BJP in Manipur

Correspondent KOHIMA, MAY 18 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/18/2019 12:09:08 PM IST

In a major setback for BJP in Manipur, its ally Naga People’s Front (NPF) Saturday decided to pull out of the Biren Singh-led coalition government “in principle”.

The decision in this regard was taken following a marathon meeting held here at the NPF central office along with the four Manipur NPF legislators and NPF central core group members and few legislators from Nagaland.

Opposition leader, T.R. Zeliang took to twitter saying: “After an intense deliberation and review meeting with the party functionaries and the NPF MLAs of Manipur State, the NPF party has decided in principle to pull out our 4 NPF MLAs from the BJP led Govt. in Manipur headed by N Biren Singh soon after the LS election is completed.”

Zeliang said the decision at this juncture was necessitated due to the “indifferent attitude of the BJP towards us…” He further said that the implementation of the decision will be finalised after the Lok Sabha election.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu recalled how BJP decided to walk out of the 15 year old alliance with NPF. 

Despite protecting BJP, when the party was in the opposition at the Centre, Dr. Shürhozelie said NPF gave full protection to BJP for 15 years. But after it (BJP) came to power in 2014, the party completely changed its colour and tried to dictate terms with NPF, he added.

He also recalled how NPF stood its ground by refusing to agree to the conditions set by BJP.

Though the saffron party had severed ties with the NPF in Nagaland, Dr. Shürhozelie said his party had no ill feeling towards BJP and stood firm to support the party in Manipur.

When asked whether Manipur chief minister Biren Singh had made any commitment to induct more NPF MLAs in his cabinet, Dr. Shürhozelie said BJP had made several commitments, but failed to implement it.

Refusing to divulge any further details of the meeting, Dr. Shürhozelie said NPF concluded by agreeing in principle to withdraw support to the BJP-led government in Manipur.

He said since the last phase of Lok Sabha election ends on May 19, withdrawing support at this moment would appear to be childish. Therefore, he said the implementation will take place after the electioneering process.

NPF Manipur unit president and MLA, Awangbo Newmai claimed that despite the four NPF MLAs extending unconditional support to the BJP, they were not treated well.

Newmai pointed out that it was only the NPF who had sheltered BJP and supported the party in other states where BJP was trying to set foot. But the moment BJP came to power, he said NPF was made the first victim.

The BJP has, however, rejected the allegation, saying it has extended all possible cooperation to its partners to ensure smooth functioning of the government.

On Friday, Manipur BJP spokesperson Ch Bijoy refuted NPF’s allegation, saying NPF had maintained that it did not want any ministerial berth while joining the alliance, but now, it seems, the party has several demands.

The NPF has four MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Of the four NPF members, Loshü Dikho, from the Mao Assembly seat, is a cabinet minister.

Eight of the 28 Congress MLAs, who had won the 2017 polls, defected to the BJP last year, taking its tally from 21 to 29 in the Assembly. 

The other parties in the ruling coalition are NPP (4), LJP (1), Independent (1) and AITC (1).

 

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