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Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla Asks CM O Ibobi Singh to Submit Resignation

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Monday asked incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to submit his resignation immediately, so that the process of formation of the next government can be started.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:March 13, 2017, 5:44 PM IST
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Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla Asks CM O Ibobi Singh to Submit Resignation
File photo of incumbent Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
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Imphal: Amid outgoing Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam claiming that Congress must be allowed first to form the government in the state, Governor Najma Heptulla on Monday asked incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to submit his resignation immediately, so that the process of formation of the next government can be started.

"Ibobi Singh, along with deputy chief minister Gaikhamgam and state Congress president T N Haokip, had met the Governor last night. The Governor had asked Singh to resign immediately so that she can start the process of government formation," a highly placed source in the Governor's House said.

"As per rules, until and unless the present chief minister resigns, the process of formation of the next government cannot be started," the source said.

"It was during the meeting that Ibobi Singh had staked claim to form the next government by showing a list of 28 Congress MLAs. He also claimed to have the support of four National People's Party (NPP) MLAs.

"On seeing the names of the four NPP MLAs on an ordinary piece of paper, Heptullah asked Ibobi Singh to bring the NPP president and the MLAs," the Governor House source said.

ALSO READ: In Manipur, All Eyes on Governor as Cong Too Stakes Claim to Form Govt

The Governor said that it was her duty to cross check the claims and that she would not accept an ordinary piece of paper as a "letter of support" unless she meets the NPP MLAs, the source said.

The BJP leadership with their 21 MLAs, along with NPP president and four party MLAs, one Congress MLA, lone LJP and TMC MLAs had also met the Governor.The BJP had claimed that it enjoyed the support of 32MLAs in the 60-member assembly.

They also submitted a letter from the Naga People's Front (NPF) president regarding their support to the BJP to form the government, the source said, adding that the Governor is yet to invite any party for government formation.

The Congress had won 28 seats in Manipur, followed by the BJP 21. The NPP and the NPF have won four seats each, while the LJP and the Trinamool Congress have bagged one seat each.

Meanwhile, the Congress Legislature Party meeting was underway at the Chief Minister's office where 27 MLAs were present, said Manipur state Congress general secretary Devrata Singh.

"Cong be given first chance to form Manipur govt'

Outgoing deputy chief minister Gaikhangam on Monday said the Congress, being the single largest party, must be allowed first to form the government.

"The Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, so as per the Constitution the single largest party should be called first to form the government and prove its strength on the floor of the House," he told reporters here.

Gaikhangam also described as "completely baseless" the reports that several Congress legislators, including Shyam Kumar, were in touch with the BJP and expressed a desire to support a BJP government.

ALSO READ: It's Game, Set and Match for the BJP in Manipur. Next Stop, Meghalaya

"The entire Congress is united and stand firmly behind Ibobi Singh. These reports of defection in the Congress are absolutely baseless and have been planted by the BJP to create confusion," he said.

The state Congress leadership also accused the BJP of indulging in "horse trading." "They are trying to use money power to buy MLAs. This is not only unconstitutional but also a crime," state Congress general secretary Vidyapati Gautam said.

State BJP leader N Biren, however, denied the charges.Meanwhile, NPP general secretary Vivek Raj on Monday said that the party and all its MLAs firmly stood behind the BJP and would support a BJP government in the state.

"There is no question of supporting the Congress. We will support the BJP," he said.

ALSO READ | Manipur: Congress MLA Switches Loyalty, BJP Set to Form Govt With NPP, LJP Support

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