Tug-of-war in Manipur: After BJP, Congress stakes claim to form government

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Imphal, March 13: The politics is the hill state of Manipur is heating up after the declaration of assembly election results on Saturday. Since both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have not managed to get 31 seats to form the government on its own, hectic lobbying to woo the smaller parties is underway in the state.

After the BJP staked claim to form the next government in the state, in a late night development on Sunday, incumbent chief minister and Congress party leader in Manipur, Okram Ibobi Singh, told reporters that he met Governor Najma Heptullah and staked claim to form the government for the fourth time in a row.

Okram Ibobi Singh

"I went to the Raj Bhavan and met governor. I urged her to give the Congress the first chance to show strength on the floor of the house because the Congress is the single largest party. I am hoping that the governor will do justice," Singh told reporters.

The Congress has secured 28 seats and the BJP followed with 21 in the assembly election results declared on Saturday. Earlier, the BJP on Sunday submitted a list of 32 legislators to Manipur governor, claiming the support of 11 other MLAs -- four of Naga People's Front, four National People's Party, one Lok Janshakti Party, one Independent and one Trinamool Congress Party. According to reports, the BJP legislators will elect a leader on Monday and stake claim to form the next government in Manipur.

In the press meet, Singh called the BJP opportunistic. "The BJP had categorically denied tie-up with the NPF ahead of the assembly elections. Now, they want to tie up with the NPF. The people of Manipur will never accept ties with a party that is hell bent on breaking up Manipur," he added.

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