Manipur senior Cong leader Biren quits

Manipur senior Cong leader Biren quits

The ruling Congress has suffered yet another major jolt in Manipur, where it has been ruling for the last 15 years.

A senior Congress MLA and vice-president of the state unit of Congress Nongthombam Biren Singh resigned from the state Assembly and the primary membership of the party on Thursday.

Biren, a former minister, is the second heavy weight Congress leader from Manipur after former minister Yumkham Erabot Singh who resigned and joined the BJP last month. Biren has, however, not said if he has joined the saffron party which is trying to poach power from the Okram Ibobi Singh government. Biren was made the vice-president of the state unit a few months back after he gathered over 30 MLAs in his favour and led a subtle dissidence against Chief Minister Ibobi and asked for a leadership change in the state.

Once a key minister in the Ibobi Cabinet and a close aide of the chief minister, both developed bad blood after the 2012 Assembly polls, when Ibobi did not include him in his Cabinet. The Congress had 47 MLAs in the House of 60 member Assembly in Manipur but after Erabot’s switch over last month and Biren’s resignation, the number has come down to 45.

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