In the latest reshuffle in Chief Minister N Biren Singh's cabinet, the Manipur government inducted Awangbou Newmai, the state unit President of Naga People's Front (NPF), as a minister on Friday, May 29.
The swearing-in ceremony of Newmai was administered by Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla in the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan in the capital city of Imphal. However, the newly inducted NPF minister is yet to be assigned a portfolio by the BJP-led coalition government.
Newmai, 49, is the second NPF MLA to have secured a ministerial berth in Manipur after L Dikho. A total of four MLAs were elected on an NPF ticket in the Manipur Assembly Elections in 2017.
Newmai expresses gratitude towards CM Singh
After taking oath as a minister, Newmai, who is also the sitting MLA of Tamei constituency of Tamenglong district, thanked CM Singh and Governor Heptulla for making him a part of the cabinet. Further, he said that he is grateful to the NPF Central President Shurhozelie Liezietsu and his colleagues for nominating him.
Assuring that he will fulfill his duties with utmost sincerity, Newmai said that he is looking forward to the assigning of a portfolio. The rather simple swearing-in ceremony marked the presence of CM Singh along with several ministers including Bishwajit Singh, Radheshyam, Karam Shyam, V Hangkhanlian, N Kayisii, L Dikho, Dr Lorho Pfoze and RK Ranjan.
Significance of Newmai's induction in Manipur cabinet
Lately, there were reports of an alleged rift between the BJP and the NPF after the latter put forth a demand for inclusion of more of its members in the cabinet. The reports claimed that the NPF was not pleased with the fact that the BJP had inducted all four members of the National People's Party (NPP), while only NPF MLA was made a cabinet minister.
Several rounds of discussion were said to be held between the leaders of the two parties to make sure the matter does not escalate further.
However, with the latest development, all such speculations are expected to subside. The BJP formed a coalition government in Manipur after it secured 21 seats in the assembly elections three years back.