Ministerial berths, portfolio distribution haunt CM N Biren
IMPHAL, 22nd MARCH: Despite managing to cob-ble up majority in the House and days after nine ministers including the chief minister and dep-uty CM had taken the oath, the BJP led coalition un-der the leadership of N Biren is yet to finalise on whom to entertain for the three remaining ministerial berths and distribute the portfolios.
The N Biren government which won the floor test on March 20 failed to distribute the portfolios on the same day as planned. Till date, the government has not been able to distribute the portfolios as there are differences of opinion regarding allocation of portfolios among the coalition partners.Even though the ministerial berths have been provided to all the four MLAs of NPP including the post of Deputy CM, the party is said to unsatisfied as it continues to bar-gain for the post of Home minister as well in addition to demanding political posts to some of its important office bearers.
Though BJP has no objection in doling out portfolios, it is in no mood to give up the post of Home.Meanwhile, NPF which is another crucial partner of the government, in-spite of already getting a ministerial post, is also informed to be demanding more posts for its remaining three MLAs, the sources added.Significantly, the lone LJP MLA inducted as a minister has also started to demand clarity on his specific portfolio. Under such a condition, BJP cannot ignore the demands of AITC MLA T Robindro and Independent MLA Ashab Uddin as well, the sources revealed.
It also said that BJP, in addition to being confronted by these problems, is also facing headache over how to console majority of its MLAs, who are yet to be included in the council of ministers. The sources further informed that state as well as national BJP leaders are in a state of confusion on how to distribute the three remaining ministerial posts to as many as 23 remaining party MLAs. The matter has reached the level of national parliamentary board.
Among the ministers allocated to different parties as of now, three of them including the Speaker are from Imphal West, three from Imphal East and two each from Chandel and Senapati districts. So far, no ministers have been chosen from Churachandpur, Tamenglong, Bishnupur, Ukhrul, Thoubal and other newly created districts.
Keeping all aside, the lone woman MLA of BJP also cannot be left out. Moreover, continuous support of MLA Vungzagin Valte of Thanlon AC who joined BJP after leaving Congress and senior BJP leader MLA V Hangkhanlian of Churachandpur AC cannot be taken for granted, in case they are denied ministerial berths, added the sources.