Manipur, 13th October: Congress leaders joined BJP in Manipur. They are veteran CPI leader N. Mangi, Oinam Nabakishore, a former chief secretary and Congress Lok sabha candidate, A. Biren, a former Minister, and Kebisana.

Veteran CPI leader N. Mangi, who switched to the BJP and then the Congress in 2018, is one of four politicians who joined the ruling BJP in Manipur on Monday. The others are Oinam Nabakishore, a former chief secretary and Congress Lok sabha candidate, A. Biren, a former Minister, and Kebisana, the only woman in the group.

The floor crossing came within a hours of strong condemnation by the CLP leader Okram Ibobi Singh and the senior leader K. Ranjit of the way relief was being distributed to the poor.

Mr Ibobi Singh said, “It is shameful that some politicians who had recently joined the BJP are playing politics on the distribution of free rice to the people of slender means. They had given 10 kg of free rice to those who had joined the BJP and others, including the Congress activists, were given just 5 kg in the Wangjing Tentha Assembly constituency which goes to by-polls on November 7.

K. Ranjit said, “Some MLAs have been crossing and re-crossing the floor with such frequency that all elected members have been reduced to laughing stock.”

Mr Mangi, popularly known as “CPI Mangi”, had carved his niche in the Left party and served as minister from the party. A senior politician said, “For narrow political gains he had joined the BJP. But he later joined the Congress to become its vice president. Now he has returned to the BJP again. Nobody can say what party he will join in the coming days.

Oinam Nabakishore had joined the Congress after his retirement. He was defeated in the 2019 general election.