After being stripped of their key portfolios, Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh and minister Thongam Biswajit Singh cried foul over the developments unfolding in the Manipur government, hinting it as a political game.
Y Joykumar was stripped of finance, while Thongam Biswajit was stripped of Works and Power purportedly as a counter-measure to resolve the prevailing financial crisis in the state. Subsequently, Chief Minister N Biren Singh took over the charge of the portfolios, which was initiated after a cabinet decision, a release by Chief Minister’s office said.
However, the deputy CM had attended the cabinet meeting and strongly reacted to the statement contending that the cabinet only discussed how the overdraft arises and how it could be prevented.
Joykumar alleged that the CM is responsible for the overdraft and demanded that if any action were to be taken up, it should against the CM. Thongam Biswajit, terming the allegation against his departments baseless, said the overdraft issue was blown out of proportion.
“Successive governments in the past encountered a similar situation of overdraft but this time, for reasons best known to them, it has been blown out of proportion,” he said.
The takeover could spell trouble for the BJP-led Manipur government, which is already in soup over mid-term reshuffle.
A day after the takeover, the aggrieved ministers rushed to Delhi to apprise the central leaders of the prevailing situation.
As many as 10 MLAs of the ruling party, three ministers and two MPs, also arrived in Delhi. However, the purpose of the visit of the MLAs and MPs is yet to be ascertained.
Ministers Nemcha Kipgen, L Jayentakumar, and L Dikho are among those who are camping in the national capital. However, none of the MLAs and ministers could be reached until now. The three ministers, along with Thongam Biswajit, did not attend the recent cabinet meeting held in Ukhrul district.
According to CM Biren Singh, they did not give any reason for skipping the cabinet meeting. Singh categorically stated that “they (absentees) will reap what they sowed.”
The developments come in the wake of reports of leadership crisis between CM Biren Singh and Thongam Biswajit doing rounds in some of the local dailies.