Now it is no longer ‘internal dissent’:
Too many ‘firsts’
Just a little over two years and the BJP led coalition Government has managed to notch up some dubious firsts and this does not say anything positive about the party. Perhaps for the first time in the recent history of the State, just 50 percent of the Ministers attended a Cabinet meeting held at Ukhrul district headquarters on June 4 this year, in the person of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Agriculture Minister V Hangkhanlian, Education Minister Th Radheshyam, CAF and PD Minister Karam Shyam and Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister N Kayisii. This was followed with Chief Minister N Biren Singh announcing that soon there would be a Cabinet re-shuffle. Cabinet re-shuffle is not something new, but rare it is to be announced that there would be a reshuffle of the Ministry before the media. Thereafter followed the voices of discontent within the Ministry with majority of the Ministers shifting base to New Delhi and leaving only three to sit at home here. Nothing new in taking the battle to New Delhi whenever there is any internal difference in the Ministry, and as is the norm in the recent past there was no open outburst against the leadership in the party. All storm and fury inside but not coming out in the open and this is something which has been accepted as part of the world of internal power politics within any ruling regime. Not the first time that internal disturbance or dissent has rocked the boat of the ruling party and perhaps this will not be the last either. But there was a certain sense of dignity in which the internal power struggle was mounted in the past.
This is where the recent open outburst of three MLAs of the BJP against the current leadership gets interesting and at the same time disturbing too. This is the first time that some MLAs have come out openly to talk against the leadership in full view of the media, in the last 16/17 years or so. It was not for nothing why the ‘14 of 21 BJP MLAs want leadership change’ byte went viral on the social media with many more forwarding the same to many, many more. Tough to say how the Central leaders of the BJP would have taken note of the byte and the open revolt of some MLAs against the Chief Minister, but it does not cast the BJP led Government in any good light. It is now more than an internal affair of the BJP, for in coming out so openly against the present leadership, the matter is now there for public consumption and it would be interesting to see how the Central leaders of the BJP respond to the latest unsavoury development. The important question is, even if a compromise can be brought about, would the Council of Ministers be able to work in close tandem with one another ? Would the understanding of ‘First Among Equals’ hold ? In the event of the Council of Ministers failing to work together smoothly, it would be to the loss of the State and this is what is undesirable. BJP president Amit Shah and Working president JP Nadda must have already note of the open statement from the BJP MLAs and it remains to be seen how seriously the Central leaders of the BJP take the claim ‘14 of 21 BJP MLAs want leadership change.’ Will the Central leaders be serious as much about the content of the claim or will they be more serious about the claim coming out in the public domain in the crucial question.