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BJP crosses majority mark in Manipur even after allies left NDA before polls, Congress comes down from 28 to 5 seats

Due to difference over AFSPA, NPP, NPF and JD(U) had left NDA in Manipur, and contested the polls separately

Out of five states that went to polls, BJP has been able to retain all four states where it was in power, while Congress lost Punjab to AAP. BJP has returned to power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, with an increase in number of seats over the last assembly elections in Goa and Manipur.

In both those states, BJP was not the single largest party in the 2017 assembly polls, and had formed govt with the alliances. But this time, the party has won 20 out of 40 seats in Goa, and has crossed the majority mark in Manipur by winning 32 seats in the 60-member assembly.

This means, now BJP will form a majority govt on its own in Manipur. In the last elections in the state, BJP had won 21 seats against 28 won by Congress, but the party had formed the govt by forming an alliance with National People’s Party, Naga People’s Front and the Lok Janshakti Party. With this, the party had formed a govt for the first time in the north-eastern state.

However, the BJP’s number had gone up in the assembly later as several MLAs in the house had switched sides, including several Congress MLAs who had joined BJP.

This time, BJP has won 32 seats, which means CM Biren Singh won’t need any outside support to form the next government in the state. The CM called the win a “historic victory”, and said that it is a testament of the people’s faith in the dynamic leadership of PM Narendra Modi and citizen centric governance.

Biren Singh has won from Heingang seat defeating the only other candidate from the seat, Congress leader Pangeijam Saratchandra Singh.

While BJP saw an impressive improvement in the state over last elections, the Congress faced a massive drop in numbers. Against 28 seats won by the party in 2017, Congress has managed to win just 5 seats, and is the third largest party in the state. JD(U) and NPP both have won 6 seats each.

The Congress party suffered from various defections in the last five years in Manipur, and the grand old party’s general decline in the entire country also reflected in the state. While Rahul Gandhi had visited the state to attend election rallies, Priyanka Gandhi had addressed a virtual rally.

It is notable that while a BJP-led alliance was in place in Manipur, there was no pre-poll alliance. Due to difference over AFSPA, NPP, NPF and JD(U) had decided to contest the polls separately in the state. Only one NDA ally remained in the alliance before the polls, Lok Janshakti Party. The party’s lone MLA in last assembly had already joined BJP last year.

However, despite strong sentiments among the people of the state against the controversial law Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1985, these three parties could not capitalise on it. The act that gives special powers to armed forces are applicable in the north-eastern states, and demands to repeal it were at the peak after Indian armed forces had mistakenly killed 13 civilians in a botched up operation against terrorists in Nagaland.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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