Imphal: In a significant development, Manipur's chief minister N Biren Singh on Thursday reshuffled his cabinet by inducting five ministers and dropping six. This was reportedly done on the recommendation of the national leaders of the saffron party.
BJP MLAs S Rajen, Vungzagin Valte, Th Satyabarta, and two ex-MLAs O Lukhoi and Okram Henry were administered the oath by Manipur's Governor Najma Heptullah yesterday. Lukhoi and Henry, who is a relative of the former CM and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh, had recently resigned from the opposition Congress party and joined the BJP.
The swearing-in ceremony of the five ministers was held at around 5 pm at the banquet hall of Raj Bhavan in Imphal. During the function, all the SOPs pertaining to the COVID-19 were followed.
After administering the oath, a tweet was posted on the official handle of the Manipur Governor, which read, "Administered the oath of office to Shri S. Rajen, Shri V. Valte, Shri O. Lukhoi Singh, Shri Th. Satyabrata Singh and Shri O. Henry Singh as Ministers for the state of Manipur at Raj Bhavan Imphal."
Administered the oath of office to Shri S. Rajen, Shri V. Valte, Shri O. Lukhoi Singh, Shri Th. Satyabrata Singh and Shri O. Henry Singh as Ministers for the state of Manipur at Raj Bhavan Imphal. pic.twitter.com/9jaFHtFPx5— Najma Heptulla (@nheptulla) September 24, 2020
After the induction of the new Ministers into his Cabinet, the Manipur Chief Minister said that the reshuffle in his Cabinet is a "routine matter as desired by national leaders to focus on development activities."
Earlier in the day, Governor Heptulla had accepted the CM's proposal on dropping three of his cabinet ministers. The proposal to drop the ministers came a day after Biren had returned with BJP's senior national Vice President Panda from New Delhi.
The three ministers who were dropped from the Cabinet at the CM's behest are V Hangkhalian (Agriculture and Animal Husbandry), Nemcha Kipgen (Social Welfare and Cooperation) and Th Radheshyam (Education, Labour and Employment).
Later in the day, three more ministers -- L Jayantakumar (Health & Family welfare), K Shyam (Consumers Affairs Food & Public Distribution) and N Kayisii( Tribal Affairs & Fisheries) were also dropped from the ministry.
Including the Chief Minister, there are 12 Ministers in the Northeast Indian state's Cabinet.