The National People’s Party (NPP) chief Conrad Sangma Thursday said that his party will continue to support the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur.
The announcement came a day after the NPP delegation led by Sangma met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda in New Delhi.
Sangma along with four NPP MLAs and North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convener Himanta Biswa Sarma arrived in Imphal today on a special chartered flight.
Speaking to reporters at Imphal’s Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Sangma said that the decision to extend its support back to the BJP led coalition government was taken after assurance given by the BJP leaders that all their issues and grievances will be taken care of.
“We had a meeting with the BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah where we expressed our grievances in detail as a party in the alliance. The two central leaders gave us an assurance that all the issues and grievances will be addressed and taken care of at their personal level which is why NPP has decided to withdraw our resignations and to continue to support the BJP government,” Sangma said.
Sangma further asserted that the BJP leaders also assured of establishing direct contact with his party and to look into the affairs in Manipur personally.
Last Wednesday, four NPP MLAs (including three ministers) had withdrawn their support to the N Biren Singh-led government. According to the party, the decision to leave the coalition was due to the “authoritarian style” functioning of the BJP government and that it (NPP) was left out from the major decision-making process of the government among others. Joining the NPP were lone TMC MLA and also an Independent MLA.
The NPP chief said that all the four NPP MLAs will continue as ministers in the BJP government but with some changes in the portfolios.
From the Airport, the NPP team and NEDA convener headed straight to the official residence of the Governor of Manipur. The team submitted a letter informing the Governor that they had withdrawn support to the Secular Progress Front (SPF) and extended their support back to the BJP-led coalition government.
SPF is an alliance of the opposition parties led by the Congress, forged after nine MLAs walked out from the N. Biren Singh Ministry. Initially, SPF comprised four NPP MLAs, one TMC MLA, an Independent MLA, three BJP MLAs who had defected to Congress party. After the disqualification of three defected BJP MLAs, lone TMC MLA and U-turn made by the NPP, the SPF current strength has been reduced to 21 Congress, one Independent MLA.
After the meeting with the Governor, the Sangma-led team also met Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. But, what transpired during the meeting is not clear till the time of filing this report.