Imphal, May 21: Eight BJP candidates for the Imphal Municipal Council elections have quit their party and filed nominations as Independents in the face of fresh threats issued by a militant group.
The Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), known for its vigilante justice, reiterated its demand for the expulsion of Chaoba Singh, now a primary and BJP national executive member.
Chaoba Singh has reportedly refused to resign from the primary membership. He was not available for comment.
Eight of the 12 candidates sponsored by the BJP for the May 31 municipal elections resigned from the party and instead filed their nominations as Independents, a senior party leader said today.
The remaining four, who are contesting from the four wards of Thangmeiband Assembly constituency of Imphal West have not been able to carry out their campaigns fearing attacks from the outfit.
The outfit had declared that it would not allow the BJP to carry on its activities until the party expelled Chaoba Singh.
The KYKL had branded Chaoba Singh, a former Union minister of state, the “people’s enemy”.
Chaoba Singh was then forced by the state unit to relinquish the party president’s post on the eve of local body elections in January following strong pressure from the KYKL.
The rebels’ ban was the main reason for Chaoba Singh’s defeat in the last Parliamentary elections. The outfit gunned down a close relative of Chaoba Singh and targeted several party workers for campaigning in his favour during the elections.
The fresh threat from the outfit has senior party leaders extremely jittery. Fearing attacks, some of the leaders have openly demanded the expulsion of Chaoba Singh from the primary membership of the party.
“No BJP worker and candidate could campaign for the municipal election after the KYKL issued fresh threats. If the situation continues to be this tense then the BJP has no future in Manipur. Our demand is that Chaoba Singh be expelled from the party,” BJP legislator Meinam Bhorot Singh said.
He said before Chaoba Singh joined the BJP in November 2002, the KYKL had nothing against the BJP.
The state leaders have briefed those in Delhi on the latest situation.