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Manipur: NPF to withdraw support from BJP-led coalition

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Imphal, May 18: In a setback to the saffron party in the North East, the Naga People's Front (NPF) on Saturday said that it would pull out of the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur. NPF has only four MLAs in the 60-member Maniur assembly and the withdrawal of the support from the N Biren Singh-led government won't impact the coalition.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh

The BJP has 29 legislators in the House. It also has the support of the 4 National People's Party legislators and one Lok Janshakti Party MLA.

A meeting of senior NPF leaders was held in Kohima on Saturday evening.

"We had a long meeting at NPF central office in Kohima and decided to withdraw support in principle from the BJP led Manipur government," news agency ANI quoted Naga People's Front (NPF) spokesperson, Achumbemo Kikon, as saying.

"This decision at this juncture is necessitated due to the indifferent attitude of the BJP towards us, its coalition partner in Manipur and also in the State of Nagaland. Further implementation of this decision will be finalised after the Election process," tweeted former Manipur CM TR Zeliang.

[Citizenship bill: Manipur CM calls meeting of all political parties on Jan 29]

BJP had emerged as the second largest party behind the Congress after assembly elections in Manipur in 2017. But, the BJP was quick to stitch aliiances and was able to form the government with the support of NPF, NPP and others. Eight of the 28 Congress MLAs, who had won the 2017 polls, defected to the BJP last year, taking its tally from 21 to 29 in the Assembly.

[BJP's 1st government in Manipur: Lotus continues to bloom in Northeast India]

In the 60-member Manipur Assembly, a party or coalition needs the support of 31 MLAs to stake its claim to form the government.

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