Dy CM retains finance, other NPP MLAs to get earlier portfolios
IMPHAL, 6th Jul: Deputy chief minister Y Joykumar of National People’s Party, who was stripped of all his portfolios earlier, has retained the charge as finance minister after weeks of high intensity political drama, which costs membership of seven MLAs from the Manipur Legislative Assembly.
The state cabinet department in an order dated July 5 reallocated the portfolios of finance, science & technology, and statistics to Y Joykumar. Chief Minister N Biren will continue to hold all the portfolios not assigned to any other ministers including that of Home.
On the other hand, a source said that the three other NPP MLAs would also get the portfolios they held earlier. With this arrangement, it is safe to say that the issue that had been haunting the government for long has been finally resolved. The source also said that all the four NPP MLAs do not require another swearing in ceremony since their resignation letters have not been accepted. Mention may be made here that the political drama that started unfolding from June 17 swept the state amid the rising cases of Covid-19 infection. Along with the four NPP MLAs, three of BJP resigned from their membership of the state assembly, while one TMC and one independent MLA also walked out of the government. On the following day, the Speaker’s Tribunal disqualified the TMC MLA and three Congress MLAs, who earlier defected to BJP but returned to Congress while keeping three Congress defectors who supported BJP. In this whole episode, Congress lost two more MLAs.
The four NPP MLAs were brought back into the fold of the BJP led alliance after the intervention of NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma and NPP president Conrad Sangma who took the four to meet BJP national president JP Nadda and union home minister Amit Shah. Consequently, the independent MLA from Jiribam assembly constituency also returned to the ruling side. The whole situation has its root to the dispute between the chief minister and deputy chief minister on multiple occasions. After facing RBI ban following a financial crisis in the state, the CM stripped the portfolios of finance from Y Joykumar and works from Th Biswajit on June 13, 2019. Portfolio of the latter was reinstated on August 5, 2019 but not of the Dy CM.
On April 5 this year, Y Joykumar was given the charge of forest & environment, and MAHUD after Th Shyamkumar was disqualified by the Speaker’s Tribunal. However, he was stripped off all portfolios on April 9, after a video clip of the deputy chief minister criticising the CM went viral on the social media.