The BJP-led government in Manipur headed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh expanded his cabinet on Friday after the Naga People’s Front (NPF) MLA of Tamei assembly constituency, Awangbou Newmai was sworn-in as a cabinet minister.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Manipur Raj Bhawan with Governor Najma Heptulla administering the oath of office.
The NPF has 4 MLAs in the BJP-led Coalition Government in Manipur. The NPF, a regional party based in Nagaland, is one of the major parties in the Biren Singh-led coalition government in Manipur.
The development comes nearly two months after Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh was stripped off from his portfolios following a controversy over distribution of rice pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the portfolios stripped off from Joykumar are now being held by Chief Minister N Biren Singh. However, it is not yet clear whether those portfolios which were earlier held by Joykumar will be handed over to Newmai.
It is worth mentioning here that the political atmosphere in the Biren Singh-led coalition has been quite uneasy following the failure of the BJP government to exercise the much awaited mid-term reshuffle.
The NPF reportedly has been demanding more cabinet berth. Given their numbers, the NPF has only one minister while its ally NPP has four ministers.