With Backing of 32 MLAs, BJP All Set to Form Government in Manipur Too

The party, whose vote share has risen dramatically, will elect its legislative leader on Monday.

Imphal: The Bharatiya Janata Party in Manipur on Sunday night claimed to have secured the support of 32 MLAs after getting the backing of NDA constituent parties and two other MLAs, and said it would elect its legislature party leader on Monday as a prelude to forming the government in the state.

With 36.3% of the popular vote, the BJP has 21 of its own MLAs and has secured the support of 11 others, taking its effective strength in the new assembly up to 32 legislators in the 60-member house, one more than a simple majority, senior  Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said after meeting governor Najma Heptullah.

The National Peoples Party of Conrad Sangma, son of the late P.A. Sangma, has four seats, the Naga Peoples Front has four seats and the Lok Janashakati Party of Ramvilas Paswan has one seat.

A delegation of BJP and parties supporting it called on the governor but it was not clear what transpired in the meeting.

Biswa Sarma said the legislature party leader would be elected tomorrow.

Shyamkumar, one of the 28 Congress MLAs who won from Andro constituency, and the lone All India Trinamool Congress legislator Robindro joined the BJP, taking the NDA to 32, Sarma said.

Asked about application of the anti-defection law against Shyamkumar, Biswa Sarma said the party has kept that issue in mind.

Earlier, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said, “We have been able to come to an understanding with the NPP and LJP in our bid to form the government in Manipur.”

NPP and LJP representatives were present along with their winning candidates in Madhav’s press conference.

Madhav said that the BJP also has an “understanding” with another NDA partner, the Naga People’s Front, whose four seats are in the Naga hills areas of the state.

Madhav said that on Saturday the NPF had issued a press statement saying it was willing to form a non-Congress government in Manipur.

The NPP’s Conrad Sangma said that the popular verdict was for a change in the ste.

Asked who would be the chief minister in the event of the BJP forming a coalition government, Madhav said the party leadership would decide soon.

Manipur on Saturday threw up a hung assembly with the ruling Congress bagging 28 of the 60 seats and the BJP winning 21. However, the Congress saw its vote share fall from 42.4% to 35.1%. The BJP, which polled around 2% of the votes in the state in 2012 has seen its vote share go up dramatically.

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