Denied tickets, sitting BJP MLA, two others join Congress in Manipur
Five other BJP ticket aspirants join coalition partner NPP while several other contenders have joined the Janata Dal (United).
A day after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced its list of candidates for the upcoming Manipur assembly polls, the party continued to witness an exodus of its leaders on Monday with sitting MLA Pukhrem Sarat Singh joining the Congress.
Besides the sitting BJP MLA, former minister Ningthoujam Biren Singh, another aspiring BJP candidate who was also denied a ticket for the Sekmai assembly constituency in Imphal, and another intending candidate N Joykumar Singh of Bishnupur constituency also joined the Congress at a programme in Imphal on Monday.
N Loken, president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), former chief minister and Congress legislature party leader O Ibobi Singh, AICC Manipur in-charge Bhakta Charan Das, Congress working committee member Gaikhangam, senior party leader T Mangibabu were present during the event.
On Sunday, three sitting BJP MLAs including Sarat Singh of Moirang assembly constituency were not listed in the BJP’s list of candidates when the ruling party announced all 60 names of nominees it was fielding for the polls.
The other two MLAs are M Rameshwar of Kakching constituency and Y Irabot of Wangkhei constituency. However, both Rameshwar and Irabot are yet to announce their decision.
On Monday, five BJP ticket aspirants including two former legislators, who were denied party tickets for the election to the Manipur assembly, joined the National People’s Party (NPP), a coalition partner of the BJP in Manipur.
The five candidates are N Mangi (Kumbi), S Subhaschandra (Naoriya Pakhanglakpa), both former legislators, RK Rameshwar (Patsoi), Khaipao Haokip (Saikot) and Nehminthang Haokip (Henglep).
When asked about the reason for not giving party tickets to the aspiring candidates, BJP Manipur president A Sharda Devi said that there is no question of underestimating anyone in the process. “The (party’s ticket distribution) process was undertaken based on state and central level surveys apart from taking opinions from the party’s workers etc,” she said.
Another sitting MLA Ksh Biren of Lamlai assembly constituency along with two former legislators-- Dr Kh Loken (Sagolband) and Samuel Jendai (Tamenglong) and some other BJP ticket aspirants including former chief secretary O Nabakishore (Bishnupur) and former state police chief LM Khaute joined the Janata Dal (United) to contest in the polls, according to Hangkhanpau Taithul of JD(U )Manipur.