The Bharatiya Janata Party is mulling disciplinary action against the dissenting MLAs from the northeastern state of Manipur, after a few party leaders have been camping in the national capital, seeking a meeting with the BJP top brass over their displeasure towards Chief Minister N Biren Singh, top sources told ANI.
Decorated IPS officer turned MLA Thokchom Radheshyam Singh, who resigned last week as the Advisor to the Manipur CM is said to be the one leading the rebellion.
“BJP is a disciplined party and there is a way to express oneself and raise the matters concerned. These MLAs have violated the very premise of party discipline and therefore it is important that party discipline applies to all,” a senior Manipur party official told ANI.
This comes at a time when the rebel MLAs claim they have the support of 10-15 MLAs.
In another setback to the Manipur government, on Monday, Karam Shyam tendered his resignation as Chairman of the Transport Corporation of Manipur citing poor treatment at the hands of the CM. Shyam joined the saffron party in 2021.
Most of the MLAs belonging to the Kuki community who have cited the suspension of the SoO agreement of 2008 by the State Government in March, as one of the main reasons for expressing dissent.
“Ours is a government with full majority and there is nothing to fear. Out of 60 we have 55 MLAs so there is no threat to the CM or his position,” a cabinet minister from Biren Singh’s government told ANI after the meeting of party leaders on Monday evening.
Even if the rebel MLAs have been saying in the media that they haven’t been given any responsibility, sources in the Manipur government claimed that it’s been done since some complaints have been received against them.
“Some of these MLAs have been involved in corruption activities which have come to the fore and in its wisdom the party leadership has done what needed to be done,” another cabinet minister from the state told ANI.
As of now, the rebel MLAs haven’t got any appointments with the top brass in Delhi. It is known that the central leadership would give these MLAs a fair hearing.
Sources also told ANI, that next week BJP Manipur in-charge Dr Sambit Patra will travel to the state to hold a meeting with leaders and MLAs. Following this CM Biren Singh and the party’s North East States’ Convenor, Dr Patra will hold a meeting with leaders in Delhi.
In 2017, both Radheshyam and Shyam, then with LJP were inducted into the Biren Singh-led coalition government. The two were dropped during the 2020 reshuffle.
Biren Singh on March 15, 2017, had formed the first government of the BJP-led coalition in Manipur.
However, in a big blow in June 2020, nine MLAs withdrew their support to the Biren government. After the intervention of NEDA chief Himanta Biswa Sarma, four MLAs from Conrad Sangma’s party NPP came back to the NDA. During the trust vote, Biren Singh was able to prove his majority as eight Congress MLAs cross-voted in the favour of the BJP.
In the last Assembly elections, Biren Singh led the BJP to victory securing 32 out of 60 seats. Alliance partners NPP has seven MLAs, five from NPF, two from KPA, while three more independents have supported Biren Singh.
With the victory in 2022, Biren holds the record of forming the BJP government in the state for straight two times and being the only NDA CM to do that twice in a row.