Manipur Northeast

Manipur cabinet reshuffle: three BJP ministers dropped

Three BJP ministers have been dropped from the Chief Minister N Biren Singh-led cabinet in Manipur in its first reshuffle after the BJP coalition government faced political instability two months ago.

V Hankhalian who held agriculture, veterinary and animal husbandry portfolio, Nemcha Kipgen who held social welfare and cooperation portfolio and Th Radheshyam Singh who held education labour and employment portfolio, have been dropped from the 12 member cabinet.

Kipgen was the only female minister in Biren Singh’s cabinet.

A reshuffle was on the card since last Monday, after Biren, accompanied by Manipur BJP chief Saikhom Tikendra Singh went t Delhi to meet national BJP president J P Nadda, national general secretary B L Santosh, national general secretary Ram Madhav, national vice-president and central observer Baijayant Panda and Northeast Democratic Alliance convenor and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

On Thursday, Manipur governor Najma Heptulla have “accepted the dropping” of the ministers.

After Yumnam Joykumar Singh, the former president of ally National People’s Party (NPP) disqualified recently, had led pulled out of alliance with four legislators, all with a space in the cabinet, speculations were rife that two NPP leaders would also have been dropped.

But, party insiders fear the rest NPP ministers would follow suit if two were dropped.

Speculations are that in their place, two former Congress faces — Okram Ibobi Singh’s nephew Okram Henry Singh from Wangkhei and Oinam Lukhoi Singh from Wangoi — are expected to be inducted in the cabinet.

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