IMPHAL: CLP leader Okram Ibobi has dismissed the charge made by former BJP MLA Soibam Subhaschandra claiming that he was coerced by the Congress party into tendering his resignation from the membership of Manipur Legislative Assembly.
Addressing reporters at Congress Bhavan here on Friday, O Ibobi said that Congress had not incited any BJP legislator to resign but they had done so on their own volition.
The allegation of Soibam Subhaschandra that he was forcefully confined at the Congress camp at Patsoi from June 17 till June 23 and during the confinement he was physically and mentally tortured by Congress MLAs, namely K Meghachandra and Th Lokeshwor, compelling him to sign a resignation letter under extreme duress is baseless, the former chief minister stated. People will find it preposterous when they hear that an MLA had been subjected to assault and other coercive tactics to a point that he agreed to sign the resignation letter against his will, he said.
He reminded that Subhaschandra joined the Congress camp after he submitted resignation letters to the Speaker of State Assembly from the post of MLA and to the president of BJP Manipur Pradesh from the primary membership of the party on June 17. Latter, the BJP state unit terminated him from the primary membership of the party for six years for anti-party activities. Congress party has all records in its custody, Ibobi said and maintained that the resignation letter was written in the MLA’s own handwriting.
Ibobi recalled that on the request of the ex-MLA, Congress convened a press conference on June 17 where Subhaschandra announced that he had resigned from both membership of State Assembly and BJP. By then, he had already submitted his resignation letter to the state Assembly and the Speaker had accepted the resignation. Latter on, the Assembly secretary published bulletin part-2 on June 18, wherein Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC was declared as vacant. The MLA announced his resignation on his own volition and Congress did not force him to do so, said Ibobi.
In a bizzare twist to a political topsy-turvy that began on the eve of the Rajya Sabha election, the ex-MLA on July 4 lodged a complaint with Patsoi PS alleging that he was “forcefully confined at the Congress camp at Patsoi from June 17 till June 23 and during the confinement he was physically and mentally tortured compelling him to sign a resignation letter under extreme duress.” In the complaint, he also alleged that he was “pushed and slapped on the face by the Congress MLAs K Meghachandra and Th Lokeshwor”.
In the complaint, the ex-MLA of the ruling BJP also charged his party compatriot and minister Th Bishwajit of colluding with Congress to force him to resign. In this regard, the Congress party leader maintained that it has nothing to do with the BJP or minister Th Bishwajit. Some BJP MLAs including Subaschandra repeatedly incited Congress to up the ante to challenge the Government, maintained the Congress CLP leader.
For Congress, the party has been playing the role of an effective opposition by giving constructive suggestions to the Government. Congress is not responsible for the political drama that unfolded in the state. The political upheaval in the state was caused by dissidence that erupted within the BJP led coalition itself. Four ministers of NPP, an alliance partner of BJP coalition resigned and blamed its own Government. People now see politicians as bereft of integrity as a result of such unscrupulous activities of the politicians. The unfolding political trend the state is witnessing today as the fallout of misuse of democratic institutions as a tool both in the state and the centre is very unfortunate. Even God will not accept the allegation of the ex-MLA, he said.
Notably, following the complaint of the ex-MLA that he was assaulted and forced to sign the resignation letter, the Session Judge Imphal east yesterday granted interim bail to Congress MLAs K Meghachandra, and Th Lokeshwor and HVS construction company MD H Vikram.