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NPP’s pullout threat looms large over Manipur government

IANS | Imphal |

Even as N Biren Singh was sworn in as Manipur's new Chief Minister on Wednesday, the threat of BJP ally National People's Party (NPP) to pull out in case portfolios of its choice are not given loomed large.

The NPP is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Manipur and has four members in the 60-member assembly.

NPP President Thangmilien Kipgen wrote to the BJP national leadership on Tuesday that the party will pull out if the agreement between the two parties is not honoured.

A meeting between NPP and BJP leaders was held in Imphal on March 12, wherein it was agreed that all four NPP MLAs will be made cabinet ministers. 

The NPP is demanding the Home Department for Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar, Health and Family Welfare Department for L. Jayentakumar, Public Works Department for N. Kysii and Rural Development and Panchayats Department for L. Haokip. All four were sworn in on Wednesday. 

The Chief Minister has been unable to decide on portfolios since many other ministers too are demanding the same. 

BJP leaders in charge of Manipur had reportedly assured the allocation of these portfolios to the Naga People's Front, which too has four MLAs. 

Informed sources said the lone independent MLA Asabuddin was now in the company of Congress leaders in Assam. 

He arrived in Imphal but was not allowed to come out of the international airport here but whisked away to Guwahati. 

Though the BJP-led government claims his support, he was absent at Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony.