Manipur Legislator Quits BJP Over Centre’s Failure To Prevent Violence

IMPHAL: Manipur legislator Jaikishan Khumukcham from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday joined the ruling Congress party in the state. Jaikishan Khumukcham said: “I put my state’s interest above party’s. Manipur has been suffering since November 1 due to the economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC).”

“For the last five days, I have been requesting the BJP’s central leadership to solve the crisis as people are facing problems every where. But, there was no response from them. That’s why I resigned,” he said.

According to Jaikishan Khumukcham, the people of his constituency have now announced that if the central government does not announce the details of Naga Framework Agreement by December 23, then the BJP will be banished from the constituency.

“I cannot go against the wishes of the people,” said Jaikishan Khumukcham.

The state BJP leaders are downplaying the political importance of Jaikishan Khumukcham’s resignation as the member and leader of the legislative wing of the party in the House.

State BJP Chief K Bhabananda said: “It may be his personal decision. The state BJP leaders are doing everything possible to solve the crisis.”

The Imphal valley has been simmering due to violence since the Congress-led government declared the creation of seven new districts – Jiribam, Kangpokpi, Tengoupal, Pharzol, Kakching, Noney and Kamjongin.

A blockade has been called by the Nagas to oppose the decision to create Sadar Hills (Kangpokpi) and Jiribam as full-fledged districts. The UNC says this would bifurcate the ancestral lands of the Nagas living in Manipur.

Jiribam was announced as a district, but the government could not do so with Sadar Hills due to the strong opposition by Nagas.

Also L Ibomcha of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joined the ruling Congress on Wednesday.