- BJP is 10 seats short of majority in 30-member assembly
- The party says it has the support of 31 legislators
- "We will prove strength on the floor of the House," said BJP's Ram Madhav
"We have letters of 30 MLAs and the 31st will send a letter to the Governor," said Himanta Biswa Sarma, who joined the BJP from the Congress recently and has been fronting the party's efforts to win states in the north east. Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said the party will meet the state's Governor Najma Heptullah soon along with parties that are supporting it.
The National People's Party (NPP), founded by former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma and the Naga People's Front (NPF) have offered support to the BJP as has the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan, which is already a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA. One independent legislator has also handed a letter of support, taking the grand total to 30.
"We have some other members with us. We will prove our strength on the floor of the house," said Ram Madhav, describing the Manipur verdict as a "mandate against the Congress government, so all the non-Congress parties have come together."
The Congress, whose Okram Ibobi Singh was chief minister for the last 15 years, has accused BJP of "playing a dangerous game of subverting democracy." It alleged that the party has "abducted" an independent legislator, Ashab Uddin, who represents Jiribam. He was taken into custody by the airport security at Imphal along with Congress leader Mohammad Nadir. The sources said the two leaders are facing life threats and have decided to fly to Delhi.
The Trinamool Congress has told its lone legislator, T Rabindra Singh, that the party will tell him whom to support. "The decision (on whom Mr Singh will support) will be taken by Mamata Banerjee," said senior Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy.
If the BJP is invited to form government, Manipur will be the third state in the northeast that the party will control. Last year, it had won assembly elections in Assam. Arunachal Pradesh too has a BJP government.