TODAY -

Ministry expansion is delayed

Free Thinker *



The most expected ministry expansion of the State Government is being delayed perhaps due to non-availability of suitable candidates. Leaders are now searching more rigorously for eligible and suitable MLAs for the induction. They have received applications with fees or without fees. I am told that the result will be declared anytime. It is rumoured that the Governor has been requested not to move out.

MLAs are still running around here and there to get a Cabinet berth in the Biren Ministry. It is heard that some are still hovering in and around Delhi seeking appointments with the BJP bosses so as to ensure their berths in the coming expansion. Surprisingly few MLAs belonging to other Parties are also lobbying at the Centre to enter the State Government, murmuring that they originally belonged to BJP.

Most of the requests seeking appointment of the BJP top brass have been declined. Only a few lucky people could get the audience. Perhaps Santosh ji has advised them all to go back and start doing their Party or Constituency work. Moreover meeting the middle ranking leaders may not help in the final outcome.

Sambit ji is extremely accessible; he keeps meeting and talking to all MLAs, party workers, sangathan people and even useless satirists like me. He is the perfect bridge between the Centre and the State. Most probably he will be instrumental in finalizing the final list though it is the prerogative of the incumbent CM.

NPF, they have already got one , still longing for another . Their leader Dr. Lorho Hon. MP has expressed that they are expecting one more. At the same time JD (U) feels they ought to get at least one as they are partners in Delhi as well as in Patna. NPP is not sitting idle some of the members still want to be part of the government. Shillong is waiting for the latest development and the fate of NEDA.

Manipur, though tiny, is politically very agile and fragile. Even with 32 (out of 60), BJP leadership is not very confident and comfortable; they still feel shaky and unstable. Therefore, NPF has been inducted at the initial stage. It is a strategic move politically as well as blockade-wise. In case of any unstable scenario, Congress MLAs are there. They are the saviour as usual. Congressmen are very cooperative.

They are old friends too. Once all the 5 have decided to come, Congress is finished in the Assembly. It would be a complete takeover by BJP.

Few days back I met a leader outside a public loo and he asked me how long the BJP government will last ? I said on his face, as long as the BJP government lasts at the Centre. Recent history has taught us one simple thing for Manipur that - it is a border state, it is a very sensitive state, it is an insurgency prone state and it is financially weak, so Centre always wants to keep it close to their heart.

Normally the Party in power in Delhi will also rule the State. If Congress is ruling at the centre, the state will also be ruled by Congress. If BJP is running the central government surely the State government will also be run by BJP. This is the kind of understanding we have so far. As long as a BJP led government is at the centre a BJP led government will continue in Manipur too. Till this narrative is changed.

One newly elected MLA innocuously asked a senior party worker in New Delhi how to contribute funds to the Party ; the worker said , you can do it on-line . You may contribute as much as you want; another channel is - buy electoral bonds from the Bank and give them to the Party. The MLA said, "I want to give it directly to the big boss, in cash"; the party worker asked - why? "Reason can't be disclosed in public".

The channel of submission is not very clear. Whom to submit, where and how? It is in fact really confusing particularly for the newcomers. They are not even familiar with the basic 'hundi' route. They think that chartered flights are for carrying cash. How can they do long term national politics?

Few MLAs are cock-sure that they are going to be inducted. Their names have already come in the media. We all know that at the Centre at the time of induction or expansion, the names which are speculated by the media normally do not come in the final list.

If your name is highlighted by the media as one of the probable candidates, the chance of your induction as minister is slashed drastically 99%. So, the aspirants are so scared that they pray that their names do not appear in the media before the actual induction or expansion.

Dr. Ranjan MOS, External Affairs & Education in a lighter vein said, 'expansion may lead to 'Big Bang', it is better not to expand for stability'. Number of aspirants is extremely high whereas the vacancies are very less. So, expansion may lead to explosion, if not done cleverly. One seat may be kept vacant as a safety valve or for opening a bargaining counter. Patra ji listening!


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 10 2022 .



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