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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.

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The battle line is drawn CM relieves major portfolios from Minister Bishwajit ; sets enquiry on financial irregularities; Finance, Power & PWD now vested to the Chief Minister

IT News

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an office memorandum issued by the OSD to Chief Minister, Nidhi Kesarwani, it has been stated that huge amounts were withdrawn by the Public Works and Power Department during the period of March to May 2019 while Model Code of Conduct was in force.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.

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The battle for the Throne

It reminds me of the political fiction story - “First Among Equals”, one among the best novel by British Parliamentarian Jeffrey Archer. The story was about the competition among the 4 fictional characters (Seymour, Kerslake, Fraser and Gould) - all back benchers in the House of Common but later rise as the most prominent political figures.
The battle for throne in Manipur’s Political Theatre is interesting. Almost political analysts are keeping a close watch to the recent development. Not only the political analysts but also all the people across the state are waiting eagerly to see ‘What next?’ 
Even as there are some differences on the rise of leaders among the politicians between the way that was happening among the British Parliamentarian and that of the Indian legislature, something is common. In both the system only those with high ambition always comes to the forefront and lead the government.
These are not fictional Characters – the silent battle which has been talking around between N. Biren Singh, the present Chief Minister and Th. Bishwajit, the works Minister now is coming up in the public spares. It is not the media that brings the story enmity between the two leaders of the same party, but it was both the high profile leaders of the BJP that made the public understand of what is being happening between the two. 
First cabinet sitting after the post 17th Lok Sabha Election held at Ukhrul on June 4 raises the curtain of the battle between two groups – one which wants Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to continues, another which wants to replace him with a new face to replace the post.
As this newspaper always says that ‘everything is possible in politics’ – a quote from the ex-minister Radhabinod Koijam, no want can predict the fallout the battle between the two important figure of the ruling BJP. But as renowned author Jeffrey Archer had mentioned somewhere in his fiction political novel, it is the one who can tackle the situation that will hold the top post. Interestingly, the present political development shows fight between two leaders, at which both are high profile leaders of the same political party. 

Media report says that Th. Bishwajit’s group comprising of 14 BJP legislature including 3 Ministers are urging the BJP leader at Assam to replace the N. Biren Singh from the post. While Chief Minister N. Biren Singh along with his team is working hard to remain in the post by meeting several leaders. 
Just two and the Half years old government, and the battle over the Chief Minister’s post came in public domain. What is more interesting is the imposition of ban on all kind of sanction to all banks as the state is in serious financial crisis. Moreover, the ban on the recruitment in all government sectors; all happened when there is a tough political battle going on.
Finance Minister Y. Joykumar’s assurance at which he stated that the overdraft will be cleared by this month, also speaks volumes as this is assumed related with the ongoing political crisis. The ban on the recruitment of all government undertaking is also one serious development which may have indirect connection with the ongoing crisis over the rivalry against the Chief Minister. All this happening seems to be well plan game if look from beyond the official guidelines, rules and regulations. Who knows this development may help in the demand by groups of BJP legislatures who are demanding replacement of the Chief Minister? 
Now it is the wisdom of the Central BJP leaders to decide on whether to replace the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh or not. N. Biren Singh at the capacity of the Chief Minister has restored peace and normalcy and bridge the gap between Hill and Plain people using his own wisdom. There are many criticism to his policy program or the way he govern particularly from this newspaper (Imphal Times), but it is a matter that we too are confused on deciding the outcome if N. Biren Singh has been replaced. 
Even though the present political crisis in the state is more like a game of the Jeffrey Archer’s  ‘First among equals’, all is now left to the wisdom of the BJP central leadership. Until and unless the central leadership decides – people will have to wait and watch to see whether N. Biren Singh continue or will be replaced.  

Legal Services Camp Held

DIPR Bishnupur, June 12

The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) in association with District Bar Association and District Administration, Bishnupur held Legal Services Camp today at Multipurpose Hall, Mini Secretariat, DC Complex, Bishnupur.

14 stalls were opened at the camp by different government departments and banking sector. Grievances of the people were addressed at the stalls with the assistance of DLSA members. Talks on different schemes and provisions were also given by resource persons on the occasion.

Terming it as the first of its kind in the district, Pawan Yadav, the Deputy Commissioner commended the DLSA and District Bar Association for the initiative taken.

Speaking to the press on the occasion, I. Jugeshwar, President, District Bar Association said that this camp is organized to help the people understand the different schemes and benefits available under different government departments. “We are facilitating the people to avail the different schemes available” he stated.

Apart from officials from the District Administration Civil Police, Chief Judicial Magistrate, District and Session Judge and Judge of Family Court, Bishnupur attended the camp.

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Cracks clearer between CM N. Biren and Works Minister Th. Bishwajit ; Central leaders rolls head to mend it

IT News

Imphal, June 10,

As cracks between Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Works Minister Th. Bishwajit becomes clearer in the public sphere, BJP central leaders rolls head to mend the crack as soon as possible.

Two BJP leaders – Ram Madhav, National General Secretary North East-in-Charge and Ajay Jamwal, organization Secretary North East –in-Charge, who arrived in the state day before yesterday to solve the crisis in the N. Biren Singh Government  had to return back unable to bring any amicable solution to the differences among the state BJP leadership. Some BJP legislature even submitted memorandum to change the Chief Minister which the two Central BJP leaders could not decide.

Source said that Works Minister Th. Bishwajit was not happy with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh over differences of opinion in the functioning of the government. It added that around 15 BJP MLAs supported Works Minister Bishwajit. The source however said that Bishwajit did not claim the Chief Minister seat but wanted the present Chief Minister to act as per the ideology of the BJP.

Meanwhile, source said that the Central leaderships do not want to change the present Chief Minister N. Biren Singh but had wanted a major reshuffle as desired by the Chief Minister. Reshuffle of Ministry is in the prerogative of the Chief Minister however, the Chief Minister have to take the advice of the central leadership as per convention of the BJP. The two central leaders had visited the state to discuss the issue with the Chief Minister and other BJP leaders. But after seeing the decedents in the government the two leaders could not make any decision but to take the matter to the high command.

Another source said that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh may reshuffle his ministry on June 21, but oppositions from BJP legislatures over the differences between them and the Chief Minister remain as an obstacle. Moreover, the voice for change of the Chief Minister is also seriously noted by the BJP central leaders.

Political analysts are of the opinion that there may be a no-confidence move against the Chief Minister. This is being speculated to be correct as there is chance of defeating N. Biren Singh as source said that any move like no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister may be supported by legislature from among the opposition candidates too. But as of now Th. Bishwajit is targeted as the only challenger to N. Biren Singh and an unseen leader is yet to come up. A source said that all is left now in hand of the Speaker of the Manipur legislative Assembly.  Whether the Speaker would side for N. Biren Singh or would stand on the side of Th. Bishwajit is a matter that people are eager to know. 

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