Imphal, June 13,
The battle line between Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and IPR Minister Th. Bishwajit has been drawn crystal clear today. At what could be termed as a shrewd political move, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh attempt a check mate to Th. Bishwajit and his team, by removing major portfolios from him. Power department and Public Works department, which was vested to Th. Bishwajit has been removed today.
An official press statement from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat stated that in the wake of the financial situation prevailing in the State, an urgent Cabinet meeting that was convened yesterday authorized the Chief Minister, to take all necessary disciplinary actions to imbibe a culture of financial prudence in key Government departments.
The meeting was held following huge overdraft and ban on the sanction of funds by the RBI, a source said. Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar was present in yesterday’s emergency cabinet meeting however, source said that Th. Bishwajit did not attend the crucial meeting.
The official statement from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat stated that as an interim measure, the Chief Minister, Manipur has vested the charge of the Department of Finance (including Taxation & Excise), Public Works and Power department with himself.
The statement also added that a thorough investigation of the sanction procedures and financial management would be conducted for all key departments.
“The Government is committed to bringing a new phase wherein financial discipline will be the hallmark of governance. The Government also assures its employees that timely disbursement of salaries and benefits will not be impacted”, the statement added.
In another interesting development is that, an office memorandum issued by the OSD to Chief Minister, Nidhi Kesarwani, it has been stated that huge amounts were withdrawn by the Public Works and Power Department during the period of March to May 2019 while Model Code of Conduct was in force. The statement is a serious blow to Th. Bishwajit as he holds both the key departments till the Chief Minister relieved him from holding the post today.
The official memorandum also said that a three member committee comprising of V. Vumlunmang, Principal Secretary as the Chairman, Ms. Nidhi Kesarwani, Commissioner cum Secretary and W. Ajit Singh, Deputy Secretary as members to immediately examine the details of funds withdrawn. This committee has also been entrusted to examine large fund withdrawal from other departments.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was supposed to leave Imphal for New Delhi for important meeting of the BJP, however he cancelled the travel for reason only known to the public after he posted at social networking site Facebook about the reason for the cancellation of the journey. He wrote that he was supposed to leave Imphal for New Delhi at 2.20 pm by Indian Airlines but has been cancelled as he felt uncomfortable.
However, the emergency cabinet meeting was held yesterday evening. Chief Minister N, Biren Singh leaves for New Delhi today afternoon.