Cracks widen within NPP, Conrad Sangma expels Thangminlien Kipgen

The expulsion of Thangmilien Kipgen came two days after he was purportedly declared elected uncontested by the party’s returning officer for the term 2020-2023.

Meghalaya Chief Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) chief Conrad Sangma on Wednesday expelled newly elected Manipur NPP president Thangminlien Kipgen for allegedly going against the party’s constitution.

The expulsion of Thangmilien Kipgen came two days after he was purportedly declared elected uncontested by the party’s returning officer for the term 2020-2023. In a video released in the social media, Sangma clarified that Kipgen and his associates have been expelled for acting against the constitution of the party.

“The former president of NPP Manipur state unit Thangminlian Kipgen had acted against the constitution of the party by going ahead with the election and announcing it. In that regard, a show cause was issued to them, they were informed not to go ahead as it was against the constitution of NPP. In spite of all the information and warnings given to them in writing, they went ahead with the election which was completely unconstitutional. Therefore, I as the president of NPP had decided that they will be expelled; Thangminlian Kipgen, including numbers of members who had worked with him for conducting this election illegally.”

Sangma further said that N Kayisii, who is also the tribal affairs minister of Manipur, was elected as interim president to ensure smooth functioning of the party and hold the election of the state unit’s president.

NPP RO Dr Jilasana Sharma on Sunday issued a notification declaring Thangminlien Kipgen as the party president, re-elected uncontested. However, the next day, Sangma in a statement said that N Kayisii has been appointed as interim president.

Despite, Sangma’s notification, NPP Manipur state unit declared Kipgen as the newly elected president of the party’s state unit and organised a felicitation function at the party’s Sangaiprou Mamang Leikai office

“There is and can be no interim president of NPP according to the party’s constitution. However, an adhoc appointment can be made before a regular president is democratically elected in case the post of president is lying vacant. Moreover, an elected president cannot be removed by a mere letter as it is unconstitutional,” said an official release issued by Thangminlien Kipgen.

“The letter written by NPP national president Conrad Sangma to minister N Kayisii appointing him as the interim president of the NPP state unit, is just an information shared between two individuals and cannot be taken as an official letter. Moreover, any officially genuine letter has to be carried on the party’s letterhead and not on the DO letter of an individual,” added the statement.

Kipgen alleged that the NPP national president has been misled by someone for personal gains, it further stated. There is no official intimation from the National level to follow a new constitution of the party, the release further stated. Every decision of the party should be taken by the executive members and not by an individual on his personal level, Thangminlien said while adding that NPP Manipur unit cannot accept the unofficial statement as there has been neither any official intimation from the national level to the state unit nor to him as state president, it stated.

As per NPP Manipur, on August 8, 2020, acting president Thangminlien Kipgen appointed Dr Ph Jilasana who is the senior vice president of the party as returning officer for the election to the state president for the term 2020-2030. On the same day, another order was issued by the president for constituting the State Election Authority for conducting party elections with Ph Jilasana as chairman and Ch Ajang Khongsai, Sushil Huidrom, Ch Bijoy Singh and Habibur Rahman as members.

The RO then issued a notification for release of the party's electoral roll on August 13 thereby calling for any rectification by 2 pm on August 18 and making it clear that no further claim or objection would be entertained henceforth, and that the date of publication of final electoral roll would be on August 19, 2020, it said.

On August 17, a notification was issued by RO Ph Jilasana informing that the election for the post of NPP state president would be held on August 25. The last date of receipt of nomination paper is August 21; scrutiny of nomination paper is August 22; last date of nomination withdrawal is August 23; final publication of valid candidate is August 24 and the date of poll and counting is August 25. Accordingly, on August 23, the RO declared Thangminlien Kipgen as duly elected to the uncontested seat of state president of NPP, Manipur, it said.

 

First Published:Aug. 27, 2020, 12:08 a.m.