Having overcome a political crisis following a patch-up with disgruntled ally NPP, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has reallocated portfolios of ministers, shedding some of his own departments which have now been allocated to his deputy Y Joykumar Singh.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who is from NPP, has got Finance, Science & Technology and Economics and Statistics portfolios, according to an official order issued by Chief Secretary J Suresh Babu.
The Chief Minister retains Home, Personnel, Planning, General Administration Department, Vigilance, Transport, Minor Irrigation, Tourism and Minority Affairs.
He will also hold Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Caste, Information Technology, Housing and Urban Development, Horticulture and Soil Conservation and any other departments not allocated specifically, the order issued late Sunday night added.
Earlier, Joykumar Singh was divested of many portfolios and was left with only the charge of the civil aviation department.
Trouble had started for the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur after the chief minister withdrew ll major portfolios from the his deputy for criticising him at a public function.
It finally resulted in resignation of the four NPP MLAs from the ruling coalition last month.
The rest three NPP ministers retain the departments they had before the resignation.
With the return of the four NPP ministers, the BJP-led coalition has maintained the same set of ministers.
The exercise also dashed hopes of some BJP legislators and Congress defectors of becoming ministers.
Another ally – the Naga People’s Front (NPF) with four legislators in the 60-member House – which was demanding parity with NPP in the cabinet, also did not make any fresh gains.
While NPP has four ministers, the NPF has two members in the cabinet.
As per constitutional provisions, there can be a maximum 12 ministers in the state, including the chief minister.
Regarding three other NPP ministers in the government, Irengbam Arunkumar, Media Advisor to the Chief Minister, told PTI Monday that the resignation letters submitted by four NPP ministers were never accepted, hence they would continue to hold the same portfolios they had earlier.
Accordingly, Langpoklakpam Jayantakumar Singh retains Health and Family Welfare, Law and Legislative Affairs, Art and Culture and Command Area Development Authority; Letpao Haokip is the minister for Water Resources, Youth Affairs and Sports and N Kayisii is minister for Tribal Affairs, Hill Areas Development and Fisheries, the Media Advisor to the CM said.
The political drama in Manipur was triggered by the resignation of nine ruling coalition legislators, including four NPP ministers.