NPP showed its strength despite numerical inferiority: Health minister

IMPHAL, 13th Jul: Health minister L Jayantakumar has claimed that National People’s Party (NPP) showed its strength in the recent political turmoil in the state in-spite of its numerical inferiority in the coalition government.
Clarifying the ‘no surrender, no retreat’ stand taken by NPP MLAs in the recent political turmoil through a video message on social media, Jayantakumar said ‘no surrender, no retreat’ means no surrender till gaining freedom to work.
In the 33-minute long video message, the minister, while citing reason behind withdrawing support to coalition government, said NPP has its own principle and never wants to grab power without justice. The party also does not want to get justice without power but aspires to function independently without interference from any party and hence taken the hard decision, he said adding that political analysts and political parties should not project NPP as power hungry party. He even suggested political analysts and experts to separately comment on power hungry, defection and decision taken on political principle instead of simply blaming NPP as an entity lusting for power.
Regarding ‘no surrender, no retreat’ comment he made when the political chaos was at its peak, Jayantakumar further clarified that all four ministers of the party resigned from the government as they did not want to remain under pressure from other but wanted to work independently.
Chief minister can supervise works of ministers but how long a minister could work freely facing interventions all the time and this remorse is still in my heart, he said adding that NPP never challenged BJP but the party would never accept imposition of BJP leaders’ thought and will. The recent withdrawal of support to the government was a message that NPP is committed to its principle, he added.
NPP took active role during the formation of BJP led coalition government but the party would never accept BJP’s agenda to expel NPP from the government and victimize the party when BJP’s position strengthened, he said adding that people were witness to removal of party’s leader from deputy CM post and interference into affairs of ministers. The health minister also clarified that there was no pressure when four MLAs of the party met Union home minister and the meeting was held based on political protocol to resolve differences.
On social media posts whether health minister attends office amidst the current situation brought by COVID-19 pandemic, L Jayantakumar responded that such question should not be asked and target a minister selectively but the question should be whether a minister is shouldering his responsibility.
As response to the remark made by BJP MLA and deputy chairman of Planning S Rajen, Jayantakumar said Rajen openly told NPP to leave the government. However, when NPP withdrew support and all its four ministers resigned, Rajen talked in a different tone and termed the resignation as ill-timed. It is questionable whether Rajen aspires to become minister or someone instigated him to make such remark, he observed.
Regarding supply of substandard masks in health department, Jayantakumar clarified that a departmental inquiry had been initiated immediately after the matter came to light and a fact finding committee had already been formed.
He further said that no supply order was issued nor made any payment and linking him to the scam was due to lack of investigation. He also said that a report about the matter would come up in the coming few days.
The health minister then appealed people to think on the positive side of COVID-19 pandemic as it teaches people about cleanliness, use of mask and hand sanitizer and social distancing.

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