Trinamool MLA supports BJP in Manipur
India Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-03-13 12:29:25.0 BdST Updated: 2017-03-13 12:30:29.0 BdST
Trinamool Congress legislator Tongbram Robindro has lent his support to the ruling BJP's bid to form government in India's northeastern state of Manipur, party sources claimed.
BJP General Secretary Ram Madhab and Assam's BJP minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has already claimed support of 30 legislators in a 60 member house -- 21 of their own and nine from three regional parties.
Since Sunday, the hunt has been on for one more legislator so that the BJP can prove its majority if invited to form government.
Amid reports that one independent MLA Ashab uddin, a Bengali politician who won the Jiriban seat, has been "kidnapped" by BJP with help of airport security officials in Imphal, the BJP has now said one Congress MLA T Shyamkumar and Trinamool Congress' lone legislator Tongbram Robindro has offered to back the party's bid to form government.
The Congress has blamed the BJP for 'stealing the mandate' -- it has won 28 seats, seven more than the BJP, and hoped to form government with support from one Left, one Trinamool and one independent MLA.
But the BJP has moved and appear to have stumped the Congress by engineering defections of Shyamkumar and managing Robindro, even though it was not clear which Ashab uddin would go.
A supporter of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrates after learning of the initial poll results outside the party headquarters in New Delhi, India, March 11, 2017. Reuters
It is likely that he could have moved on his own because Manipur, like most of the smaller states of Northeast is notorious for sudden shifts in political loyalties.
But if he has been cleared by Mamata Banerjee, it would signal a softening of her stance towards the BJP that has been marked by bitter animosity, especially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial demonetisation move.
Analysts have suggested that Banerjee would have little option but to soften up to the BJP after its spectacular victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand and possible success in forming governments in Goa and Manipur, despite having got fewer seats than the Congress.
That may make Modi's job easier to convince Banerjee to clear the water deals with Bangladesh, some have said.
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