Number games before reshuffle
It is getting more and more interesting. Tough to say which one is more interesting, the proposed reshuffling of the Council of Ministers or the ‘inability’ to effect the reshuffle even 24 hours after news of the imminent rejig hit the front page of all major newspapers published from Imphal. There must be reasons for the ‘compelling need’ to go in for a reshuffle, one being the looming by elections and the second being the need felt and publicly verbalised by none other than the Chief Minister himself to go in for a ‘BJP alone’ Government during a by election campaign. Other than these, there is also the question of living up to the promise spelt out earlier to push through the agenda of the BJP led Government in getting their man elected to the Rajya Sabha. The only way this could have succeeded and succeed they did was to ensure cross voting from the Congress, felt all that more after the NPP with four MLAs initially left the coalition Government to sup with the Congress and the resignation of three BJP MLAs from the party as well as the Assembly. Not very often that promises are made to be kept especially in the topsy turvy world of politics, more particularly in the type of politics that one sees in Manipur, but the BJP leadership must have come under the impression that a reshuffle would go a long way in bettering the position of the party ahead of the by polls and the Assembly elections scheduled in 2022. And it goes that before any new faces are inducted in the Council of Ministers, some faces have to be first dropped not to violate the legislation that the Ministry in Manipur should not exceed 12 members.
The delay in the reshuffle may just be one day, but in the 24 hours that make up a day, there could have been many ‘brainstorming’ sessions and this could be one primary reason for the reshuffle not going ahead as believed by many, including the media. The interesting question is, how far would the proposed reshuffle go in strengthening the BJP. Only time can tell, but significant to note that the names of some prominent individuals are doing the round that they are in the list of who are going to be dropped. More interesting is the unofficial report that at least two of the four Ministers from the NPP may get the axe. How well would such a move be taken by the coalition partner is the question. What if the NPP goes back to the pre-Rajya Sabha election mode ? A question, which again must have been deliberated minutely by the BJP leadership here but then the final word is yet to be said. Again important to question how such a move would go down with the National leadership of the NPP, particularly its president Conrad Sangma ? The final word is yet be said but the coming days can only get more interesting and this is something which can be guaranteed. Another important point is how the Congress must be watching the development and whether it has rolled up its sleeves to tackle any situation that the process of dropping some Ministers and inducting some new faces would lead to.