To avert Arunachal Pradesh- and Uttarakhand-like situation in Manipur, where 25 MLAs had shown dissent towards the ruling Congress government, chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh dropped three ministers from the cabinet on Tuesday.
Ministers — Ksh Biren of Lamlai constituency, T Manga Vaiphei from Henglep and D Korungthang from Tengnoupal seat will replace Th Debendra (law and revenue), Phungzathang (health & family welfare), Francis Ngajokpa (panchayati raj and rural development) in the cabinet. The swearing in was held at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.
The decision was taken after an alarmed Congress high command moved to quell the rebellion in the state by replacing deputy chief minister Gaikhangam with TN Haokip as the party state president. Haokip, a former minister, is an MLA from Saikot constituency in Churachandpur.
Even after the replacement of the PCC chief, the MLAs continued their demand to remove the “weak” ministers to strengthen the party for the upcoming municipal and assembly polls in the state.
The ministers said they believed that Ibobi, while taking over as the chief minister in 2012, had promised to reshuffle his ministry but had not fulfilled his “promise” to date.