Congress MLA and a former minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on Thursday announced his resignation from both the state Assembly and the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee before reporters and supporters at his residence in Luwangshangbam.
Biren submitted his resignations to the Speaker Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh and MPCC president TN Haokip today. It is learnt that the Speaker has accepted his resignation.
Once a close aide of the Chief Minister, Biren was a minister in the previous Congress led state government.
Despite his announcement that he has not yet decided on joining any other party and that he will take a decision only after consulting his supporters and workers, the announcement has only fanned speculations about his joining the BJP ahead of the 2017 election.
The state Assembly election is likely to be held in February next year.
Biren’s resignation is the second instance of a senior Congress legislator resigning from both the party and the state Assembly in as many months. Barely a month ago, on September 10, Yumkham Erabot confirmed his desire to resign from the MPCC as well as from the Assembly and officially joined the BJP on September 12.
Biren’s act seems to hit hard the Congress, with Haokip expressing “surprise” at his decision to leave the party.
It is premature to say anything at the moment, the MPCC president said on being asked if Biren’s resignation could have any major impact on his party.
He said “Biren is one of my most trusted friends and I have no idea why he took such a decision. I’m quite surprised”
According to the MPCC president, ‘Biren didn’t even leave any hint before announcing his decision.’
On the other hand, Biren said his main objective is to safeguard the land of the valley and bring more development to the hills.
BJP vice president M Asnikumar Singh said his party would welcome Biren if he wishes to join the party.
These two resignations of N Biren today and Erabot last month have exposed the rot within the Congress Party and the Ibobi Singh-led government, he said.
The two have send out clear signals to the people, he added.
The corrupt government of the coterie cannot hold its house in order, he said.
“Biren’s resignation is the beginning of end of Congress in Manipur,” Asnikumar said.
Biren’s son in law and Congress MLA from Sagolband Assembly constituency RK Imo said the party is still confused as to why Biren took the decision.
The reason behind the decision could be failure to resolve the issues surrounding the state at the moment, Imo told a gathering at the inaugural function of a Waloushang (Kitchen) at Kalimai Mandir today.
However, the Congress will have no set back even if some senior leaders resign from the party, the remaining MLAs and leaders will strengthen the party ahead of the 2017 election Imo told the gathering.