5 Mnp Cong MLAs quit; Speaker accepts resignations

Correspondent IMPHAL, AUG 11 | Publish Date: 8/11/2020 12:11:45 PM IST

Manipur Legislative Assembly (MLA) speaker Y Khemchand on Tuesday accepted the resignation of five Congress legislators.

The five MLAs were among six who submitted their resignation papers to the Speaker late Monday evening after the one-day monsoon session of the state Assembly. The assembly speaker, however, put on hold the resignation of the sixth legislator on the ground that a disqualification case against him was still pending in the tribunal of the Speaker.

Five Congress legislators, who tendered their resignations, included Okram Henry Singh, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Md Abdul Nasir, Ngamthang Haokip and Ginsuanhau. The sixth legislator was Paonam Brojen. 

The six legislators were among eight Congress legislators who skipped the one-day monsoon session of the state Assembly that had passed a vote of confidence moved by chief minister N Biren Singh.

They skipped the session despite the whip issued by the chief whip of the opposition Congress.

The other two MLAs—Md Fazur Rahman and Yamthong Haokip—reportedly could not attend the session as they were in home quarantine.

As per report, Fazur Rahman, who represents Wabagai assembly seat, has tested positive for the virus and has been admitted to a hospital. While tendering their resignations, the six legislators cited that their lack of trust in O Ibobi Singh, who is the leader of the legislators of the opposition Congress in the state Assembly.

With the Speaker accepting the resignation of the five Congress legislators, the 60-seat Manipur Assembly has now only 47 members as seven seats were already lying vacant after four members of the Congress had already disqualified and three BJP legislators had already resigned earlier.

After the Speaker accepted the resignation of the five legislators, the strength of the opposition Congress has now reduced to 18 members. At the time of declaration of the results of the general elections to the state Assembly in March 2017, Congress won 28 seats.

BJP leading the coalition government that won 21 seats had also reduced to 18 after three of its legislators had resigned from being members of the state Assembly.

Now, both the Congress and BJP have 18 members each, NPP and NPF (coalition partners of BJP) four each and one each of AITC, LJP and Independent.

On Monday, the BJP-led N Biren Singh government in Manipur won trust vote 28-16 in the Legislative Assembly. The motion seeking vote of confidence, moved by the chief minister N Biren Singh, was passed by voice vote even though opposition Congress strongly demanded division vote.

Though the government’s victory in the vote of confidence was a foregone conclusion, the absence of the eight Congress MLAs from the crucial session showed smart political move by the chief minister.

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