Biren and some close associates have been in touch with BJP chief Nadda and Amit Shah over Cabinet reshuffle
Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Thursday accepted the request of Chief Minister N. Biren to drop BJP’s Social Welfare Minister Nemcha Kipgen, Agriculture Minister V. Hangkhalian and Education Minister T. Radheshyam from his 12-member Ministry.
Sources said Mr. Biren had to recommend their dropping as they declined to resign.
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Mr. Biren and some of his close associates have been in touch with the BJP national president J.P. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over Cabinet reshuffle.
Reports said Mr. Biren would also drop two Ministers from the National People’s Party (NPP) to induct five other MLAs. He had invited Speaker Yumnam Khemchand to join the Council of Ministers. However, Mr. Khemchand was reported to have said he would like to remain as Speaker, the reports stated.
Following the reports, the four NPP MLAs, who are all Ministers, went into a huddle and a message was sent to Mr. Biren that if one of them is touched, all of them will withdraw support to the coalition Ministry.
It is no empty threat- they had withdrawn support to the Biren Ministry some months back, rocking the boat. Health Minister L. Jayentakumar then said there was no question of coming back to the coalition Ministry. However, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conard K Sangma, who is also the national president of the NPP, came here to bring about a settlement. The BJP and NPP leaders hammered out an agreement. And all the four NPP MLAs returned to the Ministry. Mr. Biren had allotted once again all the portfolios to them.
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BJP MLA Sapam Rajan, who is the chairman of the Manipur Tourism Corporation, on Wednesday resigned. Sources said his name did not appear on the list of those who will be sworn in as ministers.
Though reporters were present around the Raj Bhavan till midnight on Wednesday, no official intimation came from the Chief Minister’s office on swearing-in ceremony.
In the 60-member House, the BJP bagged 21 seats in the March 2017 elections. However, the CLP leader and outgoing Chief Minister Okram Ibobi was not happy that though the Congress secured 28 seats he was not given a chance to form a ministry.
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