Manipur CM gives final touches to reshuffle

Imphal, April 11 (IANS) Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has finally decided which minister needs to be dropped and which dissident legislator must be inducted.

Ibobi, who returned from Delhi on Friday after consultations with party leaders, called on Governor V. Shanmuganathan at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.

At their 15-minute meeting, Ibobi is understood to have given a list of some ministers who are to be dropped and legislators who will be inducted into the ministry.

But the date of the swearing in ceremony is not fixed as there were some hiccups — both from the ministers’ and the dissidents’ camps, party sources said.

A source close to the chief minister said: “If the hitches can be sorted out, the swearing in ceremony will take place on Tuesday.”

However, if the problems cannot be solved immediately, the swearing in may take place after April 13.

The speculation is that five ministers whose performances have not been up to the mark will be axed.

The demand for dropping 10 of the 12 ministers has been rejected by the party leadership.

The dissidents wanted the implementation of the one-man-one-post policy.

Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam was accordingly stripped of the post of president of the state unit and replaced by T.N. Haokip.

Of the 48 Congress legislators, as many as 25 had demanded a reshuffle of the ministry and replacement of the party president.

The ministers have indicated that they might quit en masse if any of them is removed.

It is not known whether they will remain in the Congress or look for greener pastures ahead of the February 2017 assembly elections.

On the other hand, the dissidents too are not happy that all 10 ministers will not be dropped.

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