Reshuffle Ministry demand;
Looking at the timing
Reshuffle the Council of Ministers. In other words, drop some of the incumbent Ministers and induct some of the MLAs supporting the BJP led Government into the Council of Ministers. The deadline set is January 15. Making the reshuffle demand all that more credible is the fact that Ajay Jamwal, the BJP man in charge of the North East was here to meet MLAs from the ruling side and while details of what exactly transpired in the meetings with the MLAs is not clear, it is learnt that the main purpose of the meeting/meetings was the reshuffle demand put forth by as many as 18 MLAs from the ruling front. May or not may be connected to the reshuffle demand, but nonetheless it is significant to note that many MLAs from the ruling side failed to attend the opening day of the Winter session of the Assembly. This is a point which must not have gone unnoticed to many of the keen observers and most likely there will be no answer to this but this should not make a difference to the demand put forth by the 18 MLAs. Tough to say where Chief Minister N Biren Singh stands on the reshuffle demand, but this sure is a move from the days when the demand for a change in leadership was top news in the State for days on end and interesting to note that another demand, having to do with portfolios or Ministerial berth has emerged. Whether such a development is positive or not is a different matter, but significant to note that this has come about when the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act is raging on in different parts of the country and a final pact with the NSCN (IM) is likely to be signed any day in the coming days.
Territorial Council, this is the model that president of the United Naga Council, Kho John announced after a rally at Ukhrul on December 17 and earlier the Co-ordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) dropped a hint that this might be the model that is likely to be worked out after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the earlier part of this month. That hint has now become a sort of an open admission with COCOMI now declaring that this was what the Union Home Minister expressed during the said meeting and asserting that such an arrangement would not be acceptable to the people of Manipur. Wonder why COCOMI thought it better to merely drop a ‘hint’ rather openly stating that this model was spelt out by the Union Home Minister and the wisdom of adopting either strategy is best left to the people to decide. It was again more or less the same when MANPAC did not openly admit that Union Home Minister Amit Shah offered the Inner Line Permit during a meeting recently to present the case of Manipur in the face of the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which has now become an Act. The quiet ‘retreat’ of MANPAC from the centre stage at this moment may suggest that the chapter on the Amendment Act has been ‘closed,’ but the pending final pact with the NSCN (IM) is still alive and so is the reshuffle demand put forth by 18 ruling MLAs. The interesting question is whether any one of the two issues will have the potential to push the other issue to the backburner but in any case this could prove to be dicey, for it is not likely that any dropped Minister would remain quiet, satisfied with the ‘new arrangement.’