‘NPP will not support BJP candidate in RS poll’

National People’s Party legislator Jayantakumar stated that the party's stand is final and there is no room for negotiation, retreat or surrender.

In what came as political fallout of the crack that surfaced in the state BJP-led coalition government, National People’s Party (NPP) legislator L Jayantakumar on Thursday declared that the party will not vote for the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha MP election which has been scheduled on Friday.

While interacting with the media, Jayantakumar stated that NPP’s stand on withdrawing support to the BJP-led coalition and resignation from the ministership is quite clear and copies have been submitted to the chief minister as well as the speaker according to the prescribed norms.

“Our stand is final and there is no room for negotiation, retreat or surrender,” asserted the former minister.

Responding to media persons, he said that the present coalition government is supposed to be a popular government. “However, ministers from not only the NPP but from the BJP itself are unsatisfied as the government took the form of autocracy instead of democracy and is being run with the wisdom and power of only one individual,” Jayantakumar said.

The chief minister in collusion with some chosen bureaucrat officers run the government by sidelining the ministers concerned and not even inviting them in discussions for matters in their respective purview.

“In my case, as a health minister, I am not even invited or consulted for deliberations on framing SOPs or procuring medical equipment despite the prevailing threat of COVID-19. Nevertheless, I used to run around as I am responsible as a health minister even though no authority or financial power was entrusted on me,” he said.

Jayantakumar further stated that repeated appeals to rectify his nature were unheard. Besides, the naming of the coalition government and formulation of a common minimum programme as a coalition government time and again fell into deaf ears. Consequently, the status of the coalition government becomes questionable, added the NPP legislator.

Pointing out that the problem of not taking into consideration the concern of ministers is also in the case of other major departments as well, he questioned whether the chief minister ever listened to the concern of the education minister despite the implementation of the ‘School Phagathansi Mission’.

Jayantakumar continued that places for transit stay constructed by Manipur Police Housing Corporation Limited for the officials of health or education department in remote places of the state were not even intimated to the ministers concerned.

He further questioned why the chief minister has decided to grant every civil works to Manipur Police Housing Corporation Limited. “Is it because it is under the purview of the Home department or because it is run by someone who is very dear to him or is it the efficiency of police housing,” he questioned.

While referring to BJP MLA Salam Rajen, who earlier challenged NPP legislators to withdraw support from BJP led coalition, Jayantakumar said, “we have walked out,” quoting “our action is nothing but the reaction of your action, nothing more.”

He went on to allege that the chief minister has no regard for many BJP MLAs except for some of close proximity to him. “They should understand that even three BJP MLAs not only withdrawing support but resigning from the primary membership of BJP is a matter of grave concern,” he added.

The NPP legislator maintained that the chief minister always says that the government has no money for construction of buildings for Manipur University of Culture even though it is the second of its kind to grant recognition by UGC in the country.

“Even ministers concerned were not informed or discussed for announcement of awards and the same were also not materialised. As a health minister, I am not permitted to enter JNIMS to assess the concerns of doctors and nurses. As an art and culture minister, I am not authorised to enter Kangla Fort,” he cited some reasons among others for his withdrawing support.

First Published:June 18, 2020, 8:04 p.m.