Imphal: Manipur Congress unit president TN Haokip on Wednesday accused BJP of "trying to destabilise" his party's government in the state by "engineering defection of the party MLAs".
He also alleged that BJP had "instigated" United Naga Council (UNC) to launch an economic blockade to create unrest in the state which was their "plan B" to topple the Ibobi Singh government.
"After coming to power in Delhi, the BJP has been trying to destabilise Congress governments in the northeast by poaching on party MLAs. They tried the same trick here too. Their plan was to destabilise our government by attempting mass defection of our MLAs", he told PTI.
Haokip, a sitting MLA from Saikot, alleged that BJP leaders were in touch with several Congress MLAs in the state.
"They were in touch with more than 20 of our MLAs. They tried to lure them with the promise of ministership and other things. But the BJP could manage to take only six of our leaders and MLAs," he said.
The BJP has fielded all six of them – former ministers N Biren Singh, Yumkham Erabot Singh and Francis Ngajokpa, and MLAs Dr Kh Loken, Z Kikhonbou Newmai and Nemcha Kipgen – in the Assembly elections.
N Biren Singh, a newspaper editor-turned-politician, is now a BJP spokesman.
Haokip alleged that after BJP failed to engineer mass defection from Congress, they hatched a "plan B" with the UNC to impose an economic blockade in the state.
"The BJP along with the UNC had engineered economic blockade. Their plan was to create unrest and turmoil so that President’s rule is imposed in the state. But they failed in this plan too as people understood their gameplan," he said.
An indefinite economic blockade was imposed by the UNC from November against the state government's decision to create seven new districts in the state bifurcating the existing ones.
Supply of essential commodities, including fuel, in Manipur was severely hit after the council declared indefinite economic blockade on NH-2 (via Dimapur) and NH-37 (via Jiribam) -- the two lifelines for the state.
Asked whether the bifurcation of the districts was done with an eye on elections, he said, "No, it was not done for that purpose. It was done for better governance."
On the allegations that the matter of creating new districts was not discussed with the Nagas, who are one of the stakeholders, Haokip said, "The decision was taken in the state Cabinet and it has representation from every community."
"Do you expect us to go to the polo ground and announce the decision?" he asked.
Haokip also refuted the allegations of BJP that Congress wanted this blockade to sustain so that it could gain from the anger of the people in the valley.
"No government will ever do such thing. This is absolutely a baseless allegation," he said.
Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 15:41 PM