Six ministers from the cabinet of the BJP's Biren Singh-led government in Manipur have been dropped. They are three from the BJP, two from its ally National People's Party (NPP) and one from Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
In a hurried swearing-in ceremony this evening, five new cabinet ministers were inducted in the Manipur cabinet. They include two MLAs who recently left the Congress to join BJP. One cabinet berth has been left open.
A reshuffle had been on the card since last Monday, after Biren Singh accompanied by Manipur BJP chief Saikhom Tikendra Singh went to Delhi to meet party chief JP Nadda, national general secretaries BL Santosh, Ram Madhav, national vice-president Baijayant Panda and Northeast Democratic Alliance convenor and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Three BJP ministers - V Hankhalian, Nemcha Kipgen and Thokchom Radheshyam Singh - and two ministers of ally NPP Jayanta Kumar Singh and N Kayisii, and one from LJP Karam Shyam have been dropped from the cabinet. Ms Kipgen was the only woman minister in Biren Singh's 12-member cabinet.
The five new ministers inducted into the cabinet are S Rajen Sayabrata and V Valte of BJP and two former Congress turncoats, former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh's nephew Okram Henry and Oinam Lukhoi Singh.
Two months ago, the Manipur government faced troubling times when the NPP led by Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar pulled out of the government days before the Rajya Sabha election this year to back the Congress.
Sources had said the two Congress turncoats who were inducted today as ministers had saved the BJP in the Rajya Sabha election.