IMPHAL | Jun 6: The BJP led coalition government in the State, which recently completed two years of governance, is likely to witness its first ministry reshuffle within this month.
Chief minister Nongthombam Biren, while interacting with media persons at Ukhrul on Wednesday, announced the same and indicated a strong power shift among the allies.
Internal conflicts shrouded the coalition as the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), a major partner of BJP led Manipur Government threatens to withdraw its support.
The matter was seemingly silenced when the lone NPF candidate Dr. Lorho S. Pfoze secured the outer Manipur seat with a landslide victory.
However, it seems the internal conflict resurfaced once again as the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday at Ukhrul district headquarters was attended by only six cabinet ministers out of total 12 cabinet ministers.
Speaking to media, the chief minister said that reshuffle will probably happen in the month of June. The reshuffle will take place after considering the performance and commitments of the leaders, he said.
The newly formed BJP led government in the centre headed by prime minister Narendra Modi also dropped as much as 40% of familiar names and faces from the cabinet even though they were elected as MP, he pointed out.
“The change in cabinet ministries was based on the performance and loyalty towards the party and its leader”, asserted Biren.
Similarly, he said, the state cabinet is not only monitored by the state government but by top brass of the party as well on how much was delivered by the respective ministers in their respective departments.
There have been many indications that the political development could turn in favour of NPF. However, for the NPP the proposed reshuffle is a major setback.
“It is obvious that if at all the reshuffle takes place the main targets will be our four Ministers. We will have a threadbare discussion on the matter with other party leaders in a meeting which could likely take place on June 9 or 10”, said Thangminlen Kipgen, NPP Manipur unit president speaking to IFP.
Asked how many NPP ministers would be dropped, Thangminlen responded that he has no idea as they have received no official information about the reshuffle yet.
Meanwhile, responding to a query whether the absence of six ministers in the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday was related with the probable reshuffle, Biren asserted that what one show, one has to reap ultimately.
He noted that out of those that did not attend the meeting only the deputy CM, Yumnam Joykumar and PHED minister Losii Dikho intimated him that they won’t be able to attend the meeting.
As told by the CM, the other four absentees which include commerce and industries, power minister, Th. Biswajit of BJP; health and family welfare minister, L. Jayantakumar of NPP; youth affairs and sports minister, Letpao Haokip of NPP and social welfare minister, Nemcha Kipgen of BJP did not inform him of any reasons for staying aloof.