The Manipur State unit of the BJP received a much-needed shot in the arm after former Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam, veteran politician and former Manipur People’s Party (MPP) president Okram Joy Singh and former Director General of Police (DGP) Yumnam Joykumar Singh joined the saffron party.
BJP’s national executive member and Manipur in-charge Prafulla Prahlad Patel approved the trio’s entry despite a top leader of the State unit reportedly expressing reservations.
The development couldn’t have come at a more appropriate as political parties, including the ruling Congress, in the State are revamping their organizational structure with an eye on the Assembly elections scheduled in 2017.
Meanwhile, Okram Joy Singh and Yumnam Joykumar were felicitated by BJP leaders, workers and supporters at a function at Kakwa in Langthabal constituency on 25th September. Langthabal is Joy’s home constituency, and he had won seven times on an MPP ticket from there.
Welcoming the two, Prahlad said their entry into BJP was a sign of the ‘unrelenting support’ the party enjoyed in Manipur. ‘The BJP-led NDA in the Centre was working hard for the rapid development of the Northeast, including Manipur, so that the region was on a par with the rest of the country’, he said. Stating that equal development was the motto of the party, the BJP leader appealed to people to support the party.
The BJP had first opened its account in the 60-member Manipur Assembly after late E Kunjakishore Singh won from the prestigious Yaiskul constituency in Imphal in 1995. Later, the party had won six and four seats in the 2000 and 2002 polls respectively, before it bit the dust in the 2007 and 2012 polls.
Meanwhile, Koijam, who was also the president of the State unit of NCP, told English daily Times of India: ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s great statesmanship and the dynamic policies of BJP under his leadership and tutelage have inspired me to join the party. Today, a function to mark my entry into BJP was held at my Thangmeiband residence with party leaders and workers.’
Koijam, popularly known as RB in political circles, also added: ‘We will work hard to strengthen the party and ensure BJP grabs power in the 2017 Assembly polls.’