Politics of drop and induct Ministers
Kangpokpi speaks out !
Perhaps this is the first time that such an uproar has been raised against the decision to drop someone from the Council of Ministers and Kangpokpi Assembly Constituency has certainly notched up a probable first. Again, this is perhaps the first time that an effigy of Chief Minister N Biren has been burnt in a hill district. The decision to drop Nemcha Kipgen from the Council of Ministers seems to have certainly rubbed the people of Kangpokpi the wrong way and so many things can be read into the comparison drawn between the present BJP led Government and the former Congress Government. That this comparison should come from the secretary of Kangpokpi Women Union, Hethem Kipgen, makes it all that more significant. The decision to hold the sit-in protest at Nute Kailhang (Something like the Ima Keithel at Imphal), was again pregnant with meaning and it perfectly fitted in with the crux point around which the protest revolved. Women emancipation, is the line that the protesters at Kangpokpi toed and to underline the comparison with the previous Congress Government, Hethem Kipgen minced no words in recalling that back then, the Congress Government did not even go anywhere near dropping its woman Minister AK Mirabai. This may be seen to be loaded with meaning and remember Nemcha Kipgen was once with the Congress before switching side to the BJP. Recalling the Congress Government could also be seen to be another way of piling on the pressure for the next Assembly elections is just 18 or so months away and many in Kangpokpi would not have forgotten that it was the Congress Government which upgraded Kangpokpi to the status of a full fledged district.
Interesting fall out of the decision to drop six Ministers and swear in five other MLAs, including two former Congressmen, who recently quit the Assembly. It should also be acknowledged that the decision to drop six Ministers and induct five others shows a confident Chief Minister and it certainly would not have been done without the blessings of the Central leadership of the BJP. An indication that the Chief Minister has managed to earn the confidence of the Central leaders and this is something which would not have blown over the heads of the other political parties which are part of the Government, notably the NPP. Dropping Ministers of a coalition partner has all the potential to rock the coalition boat, but this has not stopped the Chief Minister from dropping two out of the four Ministers of the NPP from the Council of Ministers. With blessings from Delhi is written boldly across such a hard decision. Perhaps one point which may have positively worked in the favour of the Chief Minister was the successful manner in which former Congress MLA Okram Henry was poached and ‘convinced’ to throw his weight behind Leishemba Sanajaoba during the Rajya Sabha elections. Getting the nephew of former Chief Minister O Ibobi onto the BJP bandwagon would have been the icing on the cake for the BJP leadership for this falls perfectly in line with their slogan Congress Mukt. Despite the confident manner with which the Chief Minister has gone about dropping and inducting Ministers, the last word is yet to be said, and the coming days can be interesting.