Imphal, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and BJP state President Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi on Saturday greeted five Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLAs, who on Friday merged with the ruling BJP.
The Chief Minister in a tweet said: "Along with state BJP President, A. Sharda Devi, heartily welcomed the 5 JDU MLAs who got merged into BJP yesterday. This merger shows the love and trust entrusted by people in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J.P. Nadda."
BJP sources said it was not decided yet to accommodate the 5 legislators in any government positions.
Manipur Assembly Secretary K. Meghajit Singh said Speaker Thokchom Satyabrata Singh has accepted the merger of the five JD-U MLAs to the legislature party of the BJP in the Manipur Assembly under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
The five legislators who joined BJP are Khumukcham Joykisan Singh (Thangmeiband), Ngursanglur Sanate (Tipaimukh), Md. Achab Uddin (Jiribam), Thangjam Arunkumar (Wangkhei) and L.M. Khaute (Churachandpur).
In the February-March assembly election, the JD-U had won six seats in the 60 member assembly and extended their support to the BJP government headed by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.
The sixth MLA who did not join the BJP is Md. Nasir, who was elected to the assembly from the Lilong assembly constituency.
With the merger of 5 JD-U MLAs, the BJP's strength has increased to 37.
The Opposition Congress has criticised the decision of the JD-U MLAs to join the BJP.
Manipur Pradesh Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei in a tweet said: "5 out of 6 JD (U) MLAs from Manipur merging with BJP is not only unconstitutional, but the act also attracts disqualification under the Constitution of India. There will be a move to the High Court to disqualify them. Save the Constitution, Save Democracy."