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Manipur: Another NPF minister in Biren Singh's cabinet

The state Naga People’s Front president Awangbow Newmai was sworn in on March 21
N. Biren Singh.
N. Biren Singh.
File photo

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 18.04.22, 12:46 AM

Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on Saturday filled all the six vacant berths in the council of ministers headed by him with the biggest beneficiary being the Naga People’s Front (NPF).

The NPF got its second berth in the 12-member council of ministers, a development which most said was a “reward” for sticking with the chief minister and the BJP “through thick and thin” during Singh’s first term as chief minister from 2017.


Those who made it to the council of ministers on Saturday included five from the BJP — Dr S. Ranjan Singh, H. Dingo Singh, Th. Basanta Singh, L. Susindro and Letpao Haokip — and NPF’s Khasim Vashum.

The state NPF president Awangbow Newmai was sworn in on March 21, the day Singh assumed charge as the chief minister for the second straight term.

Though NPF contested the recently-concluded Assembly polls on its own like other BJP allies National People’s Party (NPP), it had extended support to the BJP even before the results were out amid speculations that BJP would fall short of the majority mark in a House of 60.

Even Singh had said he was ready to work with NPF despite the ruling BJP winning a majority (32) on its own in the House.

The Assembly poll results declared on March 10 saw the NPP win seven seats, NPF five, Janata Dal (United) six, Congress five, Kuki People’s Alliance two and Independents three. NPP, JDU, KPA and Independents have also extended support to the government headed by the BJP of which NPF is a constituent. 

Manipur Governor La Ganesan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers of whom only one — Letpao — continues from Singh’s first term while the other five are first-timers, M. Asnikumar Singh,  senior state BJP spokesperson and chairman of Loktak Development Authority, told The Telegraph.

Asserting that the government under “People’s CM” Biren Singh would continue on its journey of developing Manipur, Asnikumar said the BJP believes in giving opportunity to each and every karyakarta.

“The new council of ministers is the perfect blend of youth and experience. We have seasoned politicians as well as young and energetic ministers in the new council of ministers. In the past five years, the NPF stood with the BJP government through thick and thin. It is only justified that they are with us in the council of ministers,” the senior spokesperson said on the new ministry.

Biren Singh in a tweet wished them a wonderful tenure as ministers in the new government and looked forward to their cooperation and counsel “as you embark on this new journey of public service as Ministers of GoM”.

Singh was sworn in on March 21 along with five other ministers — BJP’s Thongam Biswajit Singh, Yumnam Khemchand, Govindas Konthoujam Singh and Nemcha Kipgen and NPF’s Newmai.

Newmai, who was also a minister in Singh’s first term, told The Telegraph the NPF was happy over the induction of one more party MLA in the cabinet and hailed BJP’s gesture as an ally.

Top Nagaland NPF MLA C. Sazo said the Manipur chief minister has “done” the right thing and “was true to his commitment towards NPF”.

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