NPF’s Awangbow Newmai sworn in as minister
IMPHAL, 29th May: Filling up the vacant seat of cabinet minister left after the disqualification of Thounaojam Shyamkumar, Naga People’s Front MLA from Tamei AC Awangbow Newmai was sworn in as Cabinet Minister at a ceremony held at Banquet Hall, Raj Bhavan on Friday.
Governor Dr Najma Heptulla administered the oath of office and secrecy to Awangbou.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Ministers Th Biswajit, Dr Th Radheshyam, Karam Shyam, V Hangkhanlian, N Kayisii, L Dikho, L Jayantakumar, MLAs L Sushindro, V Vungzagin and K Leishiyo, Lok Sabha MPs Dr RK Ranjan and Dr Lorho Pfoze, Chief Secretary and DGP among others were present in the swearing-in ceremony.
Speaking to few media persons soon after the swearing-in-ceremony at his official quarters here at Lamphel, Awangbou expressed gratitude towards the Governor and Chief Minister of Manipur for inducting him in the Biren Singh cabinet.
Pointing out that there are several experienced MLAs who could hold the post of cabinet minister in his party as well as from among the MLAs of Tamenglong district, Awangbou lauded the CM and central leaders for selecting him for the post of cabinet minister in view of his underdeveloped Tamei AC. He also showed gratitude to the party President and colleagues for nominating him for the ministerial post.
Several works for development irrespective of hills and valley have been undertaken under the leadership of CM Biren but many of the developmental projects launched are not completed, Awangbou noted while adding that he could now fulfil what his people wanted him to do and his dream projects.
Highlighting that several schemes and projects have been initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Mod, he revealed that direct benefit transfer which transfer money directly into the account of the beneficiary for the schemes and projects have not be availed to the people of Tamei as there is no banking facility in Tamei AC. The newly sworn in minister expressed confidence that he could now help translate into action assurances given to the people.
On being asked about portfolio, Awangbou responded he has no idea what the CM might offer him but declared to accept whatever he gets and discharge his duties as a minister with utmost sincerity irrespective of hills and valley.
While observing that ministers only could not enhance and bring development to the state socially, politically and economically, he noted that people also have a huge responsibility in leading the state towards prosperity.
Born at Takou village which is under Tamei Sub division, Tamenglong district, Awangbou Newmai passed MA in Anthropology from NEHU, Shillong. He was the president of Liangmai Students’ Union Manipur, Nagaland from 1995 to 2000. He also held the post of headmaster for Hmai English High School, Tamei for some years.
Winning his first electoral contest as an independent candidate, Awangbo represented as an MLA of Tamei AC in 2007. Later, he became the president for Naga People’s Front, Manipur State Unit from 2014 to 2019 and was re-elected as president for the tenure 2020- 2024.
Awangbou was re-elected MLA in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election on NPF ticket.
Mention may be made here that the coalition government has BJP legislators N Biren as Chief Minister, and Th Biswajit of Thongju, Th Radheshyam of Heirok, Nemcha Kipgen of Kangpokpi and V Hangkhanlian of Churachandpur AC as cabinet ministers.
For NPP, Y Joykumar of Uripok, L Jayantakumar of Keishamthong, N Kayisii of Tadubi and Letpao Haokip of Chandel are cabinet ministers while NPF’s Losii Dikho of Mao was the only cabinet minister before the induction of Awangbou in the council of ministers. Lone Lok Jana Shakti Party representative Karam Shyam is the other minister in the BJP-led coalition government.
Interestingly, some BJP MLAs had been lobbying the central leaders to replace N Biren as the chief minister.
While the dissident MLAs abstained from Assembly session demanding minister reshuffling, the N Biren government faced an uneasy situation when some Congress MLAs who joined the BJP raised demand for ministerial berths.