Rift in BJP Govt amid COVID-19 crisis

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 9th Apr: The crisis within the BJP government in the state got deepen on Thursday amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the government has stripped off all the portfolios from deputy chief minister Y Joykumar, a day after he made derogatory remarks against chief minister N Biren.
The latest crisis emerged out of PDS rice distribution to the lockdown hit people of the state after the CM announced to provide 4 kg of rice to each person. Mention may be made here that people from several localities raised complaints of getting reduced share of rice contrary to the quantity assured by the CM. Even a BJP MLA had made a public statement that the difference between the CM’s announcement and the actual implementation has created uproar among the public. The latest development came after some people of Uripok AC went to the residence of deputy chief minister Y Joykumar complaining of getting reduced share of rice. A video clipping purportedly showing the Dy CM holding the CM responsible for the issue and making derogatory remarks against him was telecast in an electronic media channel on Wednesday. The Dy CM’s remark made an upheaval among the BJP MLAs and BJP spokesperson MLA S Rajen expressed strong objection to the Dy CM’s remark during a press meet held at the CM’s bungalow on Thursday. He also raised objections against earlier remarks made by NPP’s L Jayantakumar in response to RK Shivachandra’s allegation against him.
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Y Joykumar has been stripped off of his portfolios. A notification issued by chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu on Thursday reallocated the portfolios of MAHUD, forest, environment & climate change, science & technology, economics & statistics to chief minister N Biren. On April 4, deputy chief minister Y Joykumar was given additional charge of MAHUD and forest and environment & climate change, which were earlier allocated to the now-disqualified Andro MLA Th Shyamkumar. Mention may be made that the CM also stripped off finance, excise, and taxation from the Y Joykumar and works from Th Biswajit last year following financial overdraft situation. The charge of works department was reinstated to Biswajit later on.


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