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Bhakta Charan Das plays cards close to chest as crisis in MPCC deepens

AICC deputed Manipur-in-charge Bhakta Charan Das (left) and former chief minister O Ibobi during the press meet

During the press briefing, AICC Manipur in-charge Das spoke on COVID-19 issue and Pegasus snooping scandal without any remark on the ongoing political storm in Congress triggered by resignation of MPCC president Govindas Konthoujam from his post.

TFM Report

The crisis in the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee seems to be far from over. The political storm in the Congress was sparked off after the president of MPCC, MLA Govindas Konthoujam tendered his resignation from the post.

The development also gained significance as Supreme Court is going to deliver its verdict in the office of profit case for 12 MLAs on July 26. Out of the 12 MLAs — eight from BJP, three from NPF and one independent, one BJP MLA had been disqualified.

The AICC deputed Manipur-in-charge, former union minister Bhakta Charan Das on Wednesday to Imphal to assess the situation. Speculation was rife with who will replace Govindas as the new president of MPCC. A Congress spokesperson told media persons that everything will be known on Thursday at 11:30 am, in a press briefing at the Congress Bhawan, BT Road, Imphal.

However, when Bhakta Charan Das addressed the media persons on Thursday, he spoke on COVID-19 issue and Pegasus snooping scandal without any remark on the political situation of MPCC.

Replying to a query whether the post of MPCC president was lying vacant at the moment, Bhakta Charan Das maintained that Govindas has tendered his resignation and refused to divulge further, perhaps indicating that some sort of negotiation is going on.

On another query from media persons, Bhakta Charan Das said that more than 12 MLAs were present in the Congress Legislature Party meeting on Wednesday, while speaking to the MLAs who were not present in the meeting over the phone.

Asked whether reports about some MLAs joining the BJP were true, he said that this sort of thing happens quite often, while accusing the BJP of being busy in remaining in power rather than being busy in saving lives from COVID-19. He added that the present BJP-led government in Manipur was “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. It has no right to be in power for even a single day, he asserted.

He also said that preparations for the ensuing 2020 state general election was under way and the roadmap to the election will be wound up in the next seven days or so.

Asked whether Congress will stake claim to form the government in case the July 26 verdicts favours them, he maintained that the situation will be assessed and decisions will be taken that will be the best for the people of the state.

CLP leader and former chief minister O Ibobi and CWC member Gaikhangam, along with other MPCC office bearers were also present in the media briefing.

Earlier, Bhakta Charan Das slammed the BJP government, both the union and state, of COVID-19 mismanagement and held them responsible for the deaths.

Chief minister N Biren Singh being the health minister has failed, he said and asserted that he should beg the people for forgiveness.

On Pegasus snooping scandal, he demanded a Supreme Court led judicial probe and a white paper on the matter. The Pegasus scandal has proved that there is an “undeclared emergency” in the country, he asserted. He also wondered why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was silent on the matter. 

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