Days after he quit the Congress, Govindas Konthoujam, the former chief of the party's Manipur unit, today joined the BJP in New Delhi. He was welcomed at the BJP's headquarters in the national capital by Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the presence of party leader Sambit Patra.
The development comes months ahead of the next Assembly polls in Manipur where the last time, in 2017, the Congress had turned out to be the single largest party, although it was the BJP that managed to cobble together a government.
A probable Chief Ministerial face of the Congress in the next Assembly polls, Mr Konthoujam was made the state unit President only in December 2020. His departure and subsequent entry into the BJP are being viewed as a major blow to the Sonia Gandhi-led party.
Welcoming him today, Chief Minister Singh said, "PM Narendra Modi has cared for the North East, and recently five ministers from the region have been inducted into the Union cabinet. Manipur promises to make PM Modi led government stronger."
Mr Konthoujam, a Congress MLA from Bishnupur, had on July 28 resigned from the state Assembly. His resignation was submitted to the office of the secretary of the Assembly on Wednesday.
He has been elected MLA six times in a row from Bishnupur and was the chief whip of the Congress Legislature Party.
At the time of his resignation from the party on July 21, Manipur Congress had said Ms Gandhi, the national President, was "well aware of the developments in the state" and had asked the Congress in-charge for Manipur to visit the state and meet party leaders.