Monday, October 3, 2022

Manipur Cong in damage control mode

Correspondent IMPHAL, Jan 18 | Publish Date: 1/18/2022 1:27:44 PM IST

 Sitting MLA suspended, VP made working prez after defection threat

Amid surfacing infighting, Congress in poll-bound Manipur on Tuesday suspended one of its sitting legislators as a damage control mode. MPCC president on Tuesday suspended its sitting MLA Kh Joykishan who was one of its spokespersons and a primary member of the party before being elevated. The suspension order issued by MPCC general secretary Hareshwar Goswami today stated that the MPCC president has suspended Kh Joykishan from the Indian National Congress (INC) on the recommendation of the Disciplinary Action Committee of MPCC. He was suspended under Article XIX of the Constitution of the INC read with Clause(h) of ‘Miscellaneous’ provided under Article XXVII of the said Constitution, it added. Joykisan who was a BJP legislator had joined the Congress in the run-up to the 2017 general election to the state Assembly and was re-elected from Thangmeiband constituency in Imphal West district. One of the reasons for his suspension, as per a reliable source in the MPCC, was his prolonged absence from party activities. He had even avoided attending the party’s crucial meetings for the last one month. Under the constitution of the INC, a member can be suspended if he fails to attend three meetings of the party consecutively. The suspension of Joykishan came amid speculation that he may leave the Congress to rejoin his previous party BJP. However, whether he will return to his early party or not could not be confirmed for the time being. The move to suspend Joykishan comes at a time when the MPCC is in damage control mode following defections by its leaders, particularly sitting MLAs and ex-MLAs, in the run-up to the election to the 60-seat state Assembly. In a move to check further defection, the Congress had appointed former minister Dr. Kh Ratankumar who recently submitted his resignation from the post of vice president as working president. Ratankumar submitted his resignation on December 16 amid speculation of him joining the JD(U). State JD(U) leaders had also claimed that he (Ratankumar) was among some prominent leaders of the MPCC who approached the party.The next day, Ratankumar announced to the media that he had taken the decision to resign only to show his dissatisfaction with internal matters of the party.AICC general secretary (organization) KC Venugopal has issued an order appointing Kh Ratankumar as the working president of MPCC on Monday.The Congress has been facing defections by its leaders in Manupur. Recently, the party had lost two sitting MLAs – Chaltonlien Amo (who was also a vice president of MPCC) and D Korungthang.Amo joined the saffron fold, while Korungthang switched to NPF to contest the ensuing elections.Before this, the Congress had lost its state president K Govindas who also resigned from being a member of the state Assembly to join the ruling BJP.