By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 13: The State’s coalition Government led by BJP is likely to undergo dramatic changes after the monsoon session of the State Assembly.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government has been reinstalled for the second consecutive term following a thumping victory in the 17th Lok Sabha election, BJP Central leaders have been working relentlessly to uproot Congress Governments and the party itself from all the States of the country.
After Th Shyamkumar was given a Cabinet berth in the coalition Government led by Chief Minister N Biren for switching his allegiance to BJP even though he was elected on a Congress ticket, seven other Congress MLAs also extended support to the BJP-led Government.
There is a tacit understanding to give BJP tickets to all the eight Congress MLAs who are currently supporting the BJP-led Government in the next State Assembly election which is due in 2021, sources informed.
BJP Central leaders are of the view that Chief Minister N Biren launched due initiatives in line with their campaign to uproot Congress party from the whole country soon after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister. As such, they have an intention to retain N Biren as the State’s Chief Minister, according to the sources.
Apart from Th Shyamkumar, seven other Congress MLAs namely; Y Surchandra (Kakching AC), S Bira (Kumbi AC), Ngamthang Haokip (Saitu AC), Kshetrimayum Biren (Lamlai AC), O Lukhoi (Wabagai AC), P Brojen (Wangjing-Tentha AC) and GS Haupu (Singhat AC) are supporting the BJP-led coalition Government.
In addition to these eight Congress MLAs, seven other Congress MLAs have completed all negotiations to join the coalition Government led by N Biren, said the sources.
The seven Congress MLAs who would be joining the coalition Government were selected from the remaining Congress MLAs after leaving out CLP leader and ex-Chief Minister O Ibobi, MPCC president Gaikhangam and ex-MPCC president TN Haokip.
The new batch of seven MLAs include legislators who had held Ministerial berths for several terms and capable of making the Central Government understand key issues of the State, said the sources.
They have already held two rounds of meeting with BJP Central leaders. The meetings arrived at an understanding that they would be co-opted directly in the coalition Government led by BJP, informed the sources
When they join the coalition Government after the Assembly session, the Government would have 14 Congress MLAs excluding Th Shyamkumar and the State Government’s Council of Ministers would certainly undergo a major reshuffle.
One or two of the defecting Congress MLAs may be given Cabinet berths and Ministerial portfolios may be re-distributed, according to the sources.
By then, Government would have 21 BJP MLAs and 14 Congress MLAs.
Even though NPF is likely continue its partnership with BJP under the existing matrix, NPP may either leave the coalition or stay further depending on their choice for all the four NPP MLAs are likely to be stripped of their Ministerial portfolios as and when the Council of Ministers is reshuffled, said the sources.
On the other hand, Th Shyamkumar who is facing a disqualification case in the Speaker’s Tribunal may resign from being a Minister/MLA before the Tribunal disqualifies him.
Even if he is disqualified by the Tribunal and he is re-elected after bypoll, there is a condition which forbids allotment of Ministerial portfolio to Shyamkumar, said the sources.
Yet, Chief Minister N Biren has an intention to retain Shyamkumar among his Council of Ministers in view of the decisive role taken by the defector at the time of forming the incumbent Government.
Whatever propositions may unfold but it is quite likely that the incumbent Government would undergo dramatic changes in the month of September, the sources added.