After Braving Political Crisis, Manipur CM Biren Singh in Delhi to Discuss Portfolio Allocations

File photo of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

File photo of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

Interestingly, Congress MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh accompanied the CM to the national capital in a chartered flight.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 10:31 PM IST

Days after surviving a rebellion in the ruling coalition, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday landed in Delhi to meet NDA’s central leadership to discuss allocation of portfolios to his ministers. Interestingly, Congress MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh accompanied the CM to the national capital in a chartered flight.

Second term Congress MLA from Sagolband, Imo Singh, is the son-in-law of the chief minister.

The political circle in the state is abuzz with the news that two Congress legislators had indulged in cross-voting in favour of BJP candidate in the June 19 election for the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Manipur and he could be one of them. Imo Singh is son of former Congress chief minister Rajkumar Jaichandra Singh.

Singh told reporters at Imphal airport that besides discussing ministerial portfolios, he would also thank the central leadership for victory of BJP’s Rajya Sabha nominee Sanajaoba Leishemba.

The saffron party nominee had emerged victorious in a tough battle taking place in the shadow of political turbulence in Manipur triggered by the resignation of nine ruling coalition members, including four NPP ministers.

Though his itinerary in Delhi is not immediately available, sources close to the CM said, he is likely to meet BJP national president J P Nadda and will try to get time for an audience with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Following intervention of Shah and Nadda, the four National People’s Party (MPP) MLAs returned to the BJP-led coalition and submitted a letter to Governor Najma Heptullah on Thursday last backing Biren Singh.

NPP national president Conrad Sangma, who is running the government in Meghalaya with the BJP, and the saffron party’s key leader in the Northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma had also played an important role in resolution of the logjam in Manipur.

Having braved the crisis, Biren Singh is facing another challenge in meeting ministerial aspirations of his own party MLAs and also allies for which he is likely to seek guidance of central leaders. While the four NPP legislators are all set to regain their position in the cabinet, the chief minister has to deal with the heightened aspirations of some of his BJP legislators to become ministers, besides that of the Congress legislators, who had defected to the saffron party shortly after the last state election in 2017.

Out of the seven defecting Congress MLAs, whose cases under anti-defection law were heard by the Manipur High Court and the Speaker’s Tribunal, the membership of four have been restored and they even voted in the Rajya Sabha election for the lone seat in Manipur.

There have been reports that another ally -the Naga People’s Front (NPF)- which stood with the saffron party during the turmoil, is demanding parity with NPP in the cabinet, with the NPF having four legislators in the 60-member House.

While NPP has four ministers, the NPF has two members in the cabinet.

As per constitutional provisions, there can be a maximum of 12 ministers in the state including the chief minister.

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