- BJP claims majority in Manipur with support from regional parties
- Najma Heptulla says is convinced by BJP's numbers
- Can only invite BJP to form govt once Okram Ibobi Singh resigns: Heptulla
Earlier in the day, Mr Ibobi Singh said he wouldn't resign before saying he would. He maintained that the Congress, which at 28 won four fewer seats than the majority mark, had bandied enough support to stake claim to form a government. "Our party is intact. Trinamool Congress members are also with us. There is sufficient time," he said.
But Governor Najma Heptulla said on Monday that she was satisfied with the BJP's numbers after the party, which won 21 seats, said it also had the backing of 33 legislators, including one Congress MLA who defected on Sunday.
"I was satisfied that they (BJP) have support of 32 MLAs...(but) as per rules, until the present chief minister resigns, the process of next government formation cannot be started," she told news agency ANI, a few hours before Mr Ibobi Singh resigned.
She also said she wasn't convinced by a letter that Congress submitted claiming the National People's Party (NPP), founded by former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, was backing it and not the BJP. Speaking to NDTV, Vivekraj Wangkhem, the National General Secretary of the NPP, maintained that the party was supporting the BJP.
While neither of the parties in Manipur had managed to get a majority, the BJP, despite winning fewer seats, at 36.3 per cent had scored a slightly higher share of votes than the Congress at 35.1 per cent.