In the latest reshuffle in Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s cabinet, the Manipur government on Friday, May 29, included Aang Bau Newmai, president of the state branch of the Naga People’s Front (NPF), as a minister.
The swearing-in ceremony of Newmai was conducted by the Governor of Manipur, Nazma Heptullah, at the Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan in the capital, Imphal. However, the newly introduced NPF minister has not yet been given a portfolio by the BJP-led coalition government.
Newmai, 49, is the second NPF MLA to receive a cabinet post in Manipur after El Dikho. A total of four MLAs were elected on an NPF ticket in the 2017 Manipur Assembly elections.
Newmai expressed his gratitude to CM Singh
After being sworn in as a minister, Newmai, who is also a Member of Parliament from Tami constituency in Tamenlong district, thanked CM Singh and Governor Heptullah for being a part of the cabinet. Further, he said that he was grateful to NPF Central President Shurhojeli Lazietsu and his colleagues for the nomination.
Assuring that he will faithfully carry out his responsibilities, Newmai said he is looking forward to setting up a portfolio. On the contrary, CM Singh was present at the swearing-in ceremony along with several other ministers including Biswajit Singh, Radheshyam, Karam Shyam, V Hankhalian, N. K. C.I., El Dikho, Dr. Lorho Foze and R. K. Ranjan
The significance of Newmay’s inclusion in the Manipur cabinet
There have been reports of alleged clashes between the BJP and the NPF in recent days, with demands for more inclusion of its members in the cabinet. The report claimed that the NPF was not satisfied with the fact that the BJP included only four members of the National People’s Party (NPP), while only the NPF MLA was made a cabinet minister.
Multiple discussions were held between the leaders of the two parties to ensure that the matter could not escalate further.
However, with the latest developments, all such speculation is expected to subside. The BJP formed a coalition government in Manipur three years ago after winning 21 seats in the Assembly elections.