NEW DELHI, Mar 18 :Ahead of the crucial floor test in Manipur, 17 BJP legislators have reportedly moved into a hotel in Guwahati along with an independent MLA and one from the Trinamool Congress, in what is being seen as a move to thwart any attempt to poach MLAs.
People in the know said these MLAs are likely to move to Imphal on March 21, a day before the BJP led Government goes for the floor test. A senior BJP leader, who do not wish to be named, said, “Congress is trying to rope in some BJP MLAs. Congress is making offers like ministerial berths and deputy chief ministership to those MLAs.”
In the 60-member Assembly, BJP has 21 MLAs but mustered support of four MLAs each of the National People’s Party and Naga People’s Front and one MLA from Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party to secure a majority although the Congress emerged the largest party after the polls. T Robindro Singh of the All-India Trinamool Congress and Congress MLA T Shyam Kumar are supporting the BJP-led coalition. Congress has 28 seats.
Officially, however, BJP MLAs said they are in Guwahati for a meeting with Himanta Biswa Sarma, convener of BJP-floated plat- form of non-Congress parties, Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA), BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, and Ajay Jamwal, BJPs northeast zonal organizing secretary.
BJP MLA Radheshyam said, “They are in Guwahati for a meeting. Around 18 Congress leaders are in touch and are likely to change sides if given a go ahead by the BJP leadership.”
The BJP-led government has inducted eight ministers in the council of ministers; there are another four berths. Another BJP leader said, “There is hectic lobbying for ministerial berths in the BJP. Congress is looking to take advantage of the situation.”
The first cabinet meeting of the BJP-led coalition government was held on Friday. Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh said, “Expansion of council of minister was discussed in the cabinet. I will discuss the same with party leadership. Pro term speaker will be appointed and March 22; we will prove majority in the floor of the house.”
The cabinet meeting has decided to have discussion with United Naga Council (UNC) on Sunday at Senapati. Manipur is reeling under blockade clamped by the UNC since November 1 in protest against the government’s decision to create seven new districts. The BJP has promised to lift the blockade as soon as it comes to power in the state. Economic Times
Source: The Sangai Express