IMPHAL: The crack among the coalition partners of the BJP led Coalition Government have become quite clear after portfolios of Forest, Environment & Climate Change, MAHUD, Science and Technology, Economics &Statistics have been stripped off from the Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar and subsequently reallocated to Chief Minister N Biren on Thursday
Chief Secretary Dr J Sureshbabu has issued a notification to this effect on in the afternoon.
The notification said, in pursuance of rule 6(1) of the rules of business of the Government of Manipur, on the advice of the Chief Minister, the government of Manipur is pleased to reallocate the portfolios of Forest, Environment & Climate Change, MAHUD, Science and Technology, Economics & Statistics earlier held by Y Joykumar, Deputy Chief Minister to Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Finance portfolio was held earlier by the deputy CM but it was removed from him citing irregularities in transactions and Chief Minister is still holding the portfolio.
Now, Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar is left with minor portfolios like Taxation, Civil aviation.
Chief Minister will hold the said portfolios in addition to his earlier portfolios of Home, personnel, Planning, GAD, Vigilance, Transport, MI, Sericulture, Tourism, Minority Affairs, OBC &SC, Information Technology, Finance and any other department not allocated specifically.
Notably, after minister Th Shyamkumar was disqualified by the Speaker’s tribunal for violating tenth schedule of the Constitution, the portfolios held by the minister was reallocated to the Chief minister N Biren and Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar on April 4. The reshuffled of the portfolios was necessitated after the Forest, Environment & Climate Change, MAHUD, Horticulture and Soil Conservation departments were running without any minister after disqualification of Th Shyamkumar.
It is being said that the Deputy Chief Minister has been stripped off all the portfolios after video footage in which the deputy CM is shown criticizing the Chief Minister using derogatory remarks over inadequate rice quota for Uripok Assembly constituency, from which the Deputy CM represents.
If NPP ministers have the guts, they can resign: BJP MLA
Amid the global COVID-19 scare, a political upheaval is looming large within the BJP led coalition government in the state, as the fallout of a video footage in circulation in which the Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar is shown criticizing Chief Minister N Biren using derogatory remarks while making his clarifications on the allotment of NFSA rice for each household in Uripok Assembly constituency as part of the interim arrangement to survive the lockdown.
Y Joykumar is a legislature of NPP, a partner of the present BJP led coalition Government in the state whose four legislatures are all ministers in the government.
Infuriated by the remark of the Deputy CM, BJP MLA Sorokhaibam Rajen, on Thursday, demanded the NPP ministers to resign from their posts if they have the guts to do so and do not like to serve as a minister under the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren.
MLA S Rajen said that Chief Minister N Biren led Government has been taking up stringent precautionary measures to protect the people of the state from COVID-19 outbreak. Nationwide lockdown was announced in the entire nation to contain the outbreak of the virus. In Manipur too, the state government imposed curfew along with the lock down since March 24 to contain the outbreak of the virus. People are experiencing a hard time due to the stringent precautionary measures taken up by the Government. To ease out public suffering during the lockdown, Chief Minister has been appealing to all the MLAs to distribute their quotas of rice allotted to the people in a fair manner.
Under the PM Gharib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the Centre has recently transported the state’s quota of rice and 5 Kg of rice each was to reach every priority card holder in the state free of cost. Although the rice quota is meant for priority card holders only, the Chief Minster had requested the MLAs to fairly distribute the rice equally to every household, whether they are card holder or not, in view of COVID-19 containment measures affecting the society as a whole. Government provided additional rice quotas to some Assembly constituencies following complaint from some local MLAs, he informed.
At a time when the Chief Minister is striving hard to protect the people from COVID-19 and ease out their suffering, Deputy Chief Minister has criticized the Chief Minister with derogatory remarks over rice issue rather than convincing the people of his Assembly segment. The statement of the Deputy CM is quite irresponsible, uncivilized and unbecoming of a responsible public leader. When the rice provided by the Government fail to meet the public requirement in their Assembly segments, some MLAs even purchased rice with the money from their own pockets. If the deputy CM sincerely loves his people, he could have sought additional rice shares after discussing the matter with the Chief minister or purchase rice with money from his pocket as other MLAs are doing.
For Uripok AC, the Government had provided 916.45 quintals of rice for priority card holders, and 353.15 quintals for AAY card holders. The total voters of Uripok is 23,032. If the total rice allocation is distributed properly, every voter of the AC can get above 5 Kg of rice. It is unjustified on the part of a responsible Deputy CM to blame the Chief Minister instead of convincing the people on the issue, the MLA said adding that such irresponsible remark of the minister is quite unfortunate.
Another NPP Minister L Jayentakumar also recently blamed the Chief Minister when one BJP leader who contested in State Assembly election in 2017 distributed rice to the people in Keishamthong AC. Such unwarranted attitude of the NPP has shocked the BJP to a level that the party’s limit of tolerance has been breached. If we are coalition partners, we should work together under the leadership of the Chief Minister, otherwise they can quit anytime, the MLA dared.