Imphal: Congress MLA Z Khikhonbou Newmai, representing Tamei constituency in Manipur, resigned from the Assembly and party on Wednesday.
He is the fifth Congress MLA to resign ahead of the January 2017 Assembly Elections.
"The Congress government has taken some contentious steps, the most recent being the formation of seven districts on Thursday midnight (last week). In violation of the constitutional provisions, the government did not seek approval of the Hill Areas Committee on the proposal of the creation of the new districts," Newmai said,
However, Khaidem Mani, a senior advocate told IANS that only those bills introduced in the Assembly should be referred to the Hill Areas Committee. "Since the creation of a district is an executive exercise there is no need to seek approval," he said.
Referring to the resignation from the Congress party membership, Newmai said: "My workers have been pressurising me to resign. Since they are the ones who will re-elect me, I cannot ignore their pressure."
"I have not decided as yet which party I shall join ahead of elections. This will be decided in consultation with my workers," he added.
He said he had personally submitted his resignation letter to the Deputy Secretary of Manipur Assembly and through WhatsApp to TN Haokip, Manipur Congress president.
However, Haokip told IANS on Wednesday evening that he has not received the resignation letter from Newmai so far.
"I will comment once I receive the same," he said.
Asked whether the resignation of five MLAs, most of whom had been ministers, is a serious setback to the ruling Congress before the elections, Haokip said: "Floor crossing before elections is a routine exercise in Manipur. True, we have lost some members. But numerically we are still dominant since many others had joined us from other parties."
"Besides, in the Assembly, we are in an invincible position," he added.