In what comes as a major setback to the BJP during the Lok Sabha polls, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) – an ally in BJP-led government in Manipur – had decided to pull out of the government after the general elections.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Naga People's Front (NPF) spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon said: “We had a long meeting at NPF central office in Kohima and decided to withdraw support in principle from the BJP-led Manipur government.”
Meanwhile, former chief minister and NPF leader, TR Zeliang in a tweet stated, “After an intense deliberation and review meeting with the party functionaries and the NPF MLAs of Manipur State, the NPF party has decided in principle to pull out our 4 NPF MLAs from the BJP led Govt in Manipur headed by N Biren Singh soon after the LS election is completed.”
However, NPF’s withdrawal of the support is unlikely to pose a threat to the stability of the government as it has only four MLAs in the 60-member Assembly against the BJP's 29.
BJP, too, claimed that there is no threat to the government in the state. “Even if four MLAs leave the government we will have 36 members,” a senior BJP leader was quoted by Economic Times as saying.
Eight of the 28 Congress MLAs, who had won in the 2017 elections, defected to the BJP last year taking its tally from 21 to 29. he other parties in the ruling coalition are NPP (4), LJP (1), Independent (1) and AITC (1).
NPF made the decision to pull out of the BJP-led government in the state in a meeting of its leaders convened on Saturday.
Party’s state unit chief Awangbou Newmai had alleged that the BJP doesn't respect its alliance partners.
"The BJP has never respected the spirit of the alliance since the formation of government in 2017. There have been instances when their leaders have refused to consider our members as alliance partners," he was quoted as saying.