The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Manipur on Monday withdrew its support to the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur.
In this connection, an official letter was submitted to Manipur Governor La Ganesan by the JD-U state president Ksh Biren.
“Keeping the political development at the national level in view, where JD(U) left NDA, it has been decided by the JD-U Manipur state to withdraw the support extended to the BJP led Manipur government with immediate effect,” said Ksh Biren.
The development comes a couple of days after five of the JD-U MLAs from its total six MLAs in Manipur officially merged with the BJP on September 10.
The JD-U has the third highest number of MLAs after the National People’s Party (NPP) which has seven MLAs. However, five of the six JD-U MLAs merged with the BJP government just days after the party had withdrawn its support from NDA at the national level.
The Manipur Legislative Assembly issued an office memorandum, on behalf of the Manipur Speaker, giving its nod to the merger of the five JD-U MLAs to BJP under the tenth schedule.
The five JD-U MLAs are Khumukcham Joykishan Singh, Ngursanglur Sanate, Md Asab Uddin, Thangjam Arunkumar and LM Khaute. However, it is not yet clear whether Lilong MLA Md Abdul Nasir will also merge with the BJP. Nasir is reportedly out of station.
A source in the JD-U said the party is exploring legal avenues to deal with the political development.
With the merger of the JD-U MLAs the strength of the BJP Manipur has increased to 37 from 32 MLAs in the House of 60. Moreover, the BJP still has the support of NPP, Naga People’s Front (NPF) which has five MLAs, two MLAs of the newly formed Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA), and two Independent MLAs.
Homen Thangjam, assistant professor of political science at IGNTU observed that the merger of five JD-U MLAs to BJP is an ‘irreparable dent’ inflicted on the JD-U.
“All the MLAs who left JD-U for BJP are not only the most influential and affluent but were the face of the party. As a result, it would be almost impossible for the party to reorganise,” said Homen Thangjam.
According to a reliable source, the lone JD-U MLA Abdul Nasir is likely to merge with the BJP too in the coming days; he is said to be presently busy in his personal matter.
It may be mentioned that after a simmering tension, the JD-U national leader, Nitish Kumar, who is also chief minister of Bihar, ended the party's alliance with BJP on August 9.
Soon after ending the alliance in Bihar, some MLAs of JD-U (including those who joined BJP) met its central leader, however none of the MLAs agreed to share the outcome of the meeting to the media.