TODAY -

Six swearing in as Ministers

Free Thinker *

 N Biren sworn in as CM, five others as Ministers on March 23 2022
N Biren sworn in as CM, five others as Ministers on March 23 2022 :: Pix - TSE



Within a few days another half a dozen MLAs will be taking oath as ministers in Raj Bhawan. People are quite curious to know the identity of these 6 lucky MLAs. We have already got 6 ministers including the Chief Minister.

In the political circle it is murmured that Minister-ship is fixed in Delhi including the top post. Who becomes minister and what portfolios he/she would be holding is also decided by Delhi. If it is true, what is the point of doing ‘chamchagiri’ here at Imphal ? Anybody who aspires to become a Minister must rush to Delhi Durbar.

Independents, JD (U), NPP, KNA and even Congress MLAs may try their luck. If the High Command says ‘yes’ ,you are there in the government. Do you remember, last time one Congress MLA was made minister instantly. Place your request in such a convincing manner that the High Command can’t say ‘no’. To run a party, that too a national party requires a lot of support and funds.

Even if you are not part of the council of Ministers, never be frustrated. There are a good number of political posts - Chairmanships, Advisor-ships, Parliamentary Secretaries etc. But don’t accept the post of Parliamentary Secretary - Courts say it is full of profits (illegal).

Recently I collided with a very senior leader who is at the helm of affairs. He said, the State President must tell the actual position, she must assert, she must act independently. She must command authority and respect from all as long as she acts objectively and impartially. The State in charge becomes powerful only when the State unit is not assertive.

Perhaps there is a hierarchy of commands . Nobody knows at what level the decisions are taken. Sometimes I feel the decisions are taken in the name of High Command with or without their knowledge. Top Bosses never go into the nitty-gritty of things.

They look at the macro level ; micro level analysis can’t be done due to paucity of time. But issues should be put in brief and in clear terms. For the CM ship we understand that the highest command took the call. For minister-ship only the second rung authorities will decide.

Constitutionally and conventionally the leader is chosen or elected by division or vote; if they say there is unanimity, let us accept that. But the two leaders should have taken the individual opinion of all - if it is to be shown to the world that this party is different. Inner Party democracy is required for sanctity and stability. Otherwise what is the difference between the Safronites and Dynastic Parties.

Earlier there were no restrictions in the number of ministers. Just for the sake of political stability, once we had 29 ministers, one CM and of course the Speaker. Even those days there was instability. Today you have to manage with 12 ministers and one Speaker. It is all about management. If you can’t manage you will crumble despite having the number.

In a widely circulated clip – Nitin Gaddkariji said, when he was the President of the Party – everyone was unhappy in the organization. Some were unhappy because they didn’t get a party ticket. MLAs were unhappy because they didn’t get ministership.

Some ministers were unhappy because they didn’t get good portfolios. Big ministers are unhappy because they could not become Chief Minister. Everyone whom he met was ‘dukhi ‘. He told all of them to be happy and do their duty as a sincere Party worker. He said he is always happy at every stage, even when he was a poster pasting boy of the Party.

The same story of Nittin ji repeats here itself. Many are unhappy as they were denied Party tickets and left the Party. One or two didn’t leave the party ideologically; they fought the election and won as Independents.

Some MLAs will be unhappy as they are not made ministers. Few are unhappy as they could not be CM. Perhaps the CM is also not happy as he has no or little say in the selection of ministers and subsequent distribution of portfolios.

In the last swearing in ceremony except Maharaja many State VVIPs/VIPs were not present. They are supposed to be present in such important State functions. In the next swearing in ceremony we hope they all come. If they have prior engagements they may cancel the program and join the ceremony. Such State functions are historic. It is not a matter of protocol but it is simply a matter of courtesy, convention and practice.

I heard that Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan, Union Minister for Education and External Affairs is going to Goa to attend the swearing in ceremony of Shri Sawant. But he did not attain Shri Biren’s oath taking ceremony, perhaps he was busy with his Parliamentary work. Or was he invited?

Above all, it is our humble request to Delhi - while selecting the Ministers please ensure that minimum quality is maintained though the consideration is mainly on the basis of stability, loyalty and power sharing.

Even for portfolio distribution some crucial yardsticks must be taken into account – e.g. a successful contractor or builder may be appointed as PWD minister and a history-sheeter may be allotted ‘Home’ so that the system is improved and run accordingly. For Education, someone who is literate is a must, if not educated.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on March 29 2022 .



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