Guwahati: Reacting sharply to the decision of the Manipur government to remove him from key portfolios like PWD and power on Thursday, senior Cabinet minister Thongam Biswajit Singh on Friday termed it a “reflection of immaturity and ignorance”.
Without naming anyone, Biswajit, in an exclusive interview with EastMojo from Imphal over phone, said that this decision of “someone” will definitely have an adverse impact on the party’s image among the public.
The minister is now planning to leave for New Delhi to meet the central leadership of the party where he is likely to respond elaborately to each and every allegation made against him.
Besides Biswajit, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Thursday stripped deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh of the finance portfolio. The move comes in the wake of the financial situation prevailing in the state.
“It was our internal matter and it should have been discussed among ourselves. It shouldn’t have gone out of our house. We could have solved the issue amicably within us. It could have been discussed in a Cabinet meeting or any other specially organised meeting with the ministers concerned. But, now, it has gone out. It shows ignorance, immaturity of anybody. I don’t like to mention anyone’s name. This will affect the image of our party among the masses,” Biswajit Singh said.
However, he refused to comment on media reports that altogether 17 BJP MLAs have expressed their solidarity with him and have written to the central leadership of the party to remove N Biren Singh from the chair of chief minister.
“I don’t like to comment on this. I don’t like to get involved in such activities. I don’t have any idea what the other MLAs are doing. They must be having some unwanted things in the process of governance,” he said.
Commenting on his plans to leave for New Delhi to meet the party Central leadership, Biswajit Singh said that there is a competent authority of the party at the Centre.
“I am still in Imphal. I will be going to New Delhi to meet the party leadership by today, tomorrow or day after, depending upon my previous schedule. I have already discussed the matter with them. I will go there with all factual positions so that they realise the actual position. Then they will take their decision of their own,” he added.
Reacting to the alleged political conspiracy against him on the part of the state chief minister, Biswajit Singh said that something is happening somewhere.
“Allotting or stripping of portfolios is the prerogative of the chief minister. I know that. However, I don’t know whether it was discussed with the competent authority or not before taking the decision,” the high-profile Manipur minister said.
On the allegations made against him, Biswajit Singh said that his department has already submitted papers according to the format given by the state finance department.
“There is budget provision for every department in the state. We can’t go beyond our budget limit. There are specific rules and regulations beyond which we can’t go. Even if we go, the finance department has to examine it. They are the perfect custodian of state exchequer. Without the consent and proper approval, no department in the state can do anything. Taking clearance of finance department is a must. This is not for the two departments, PWD and power, alone. This is common for all. However, budgetary allocations for both power and PWD might be little bit higher because of the importance of the departments.”
When asked about his New Delhi agenda, Biswajit Singh, who is one of the senior-most ministers of the N Biren Singh-led Cabinet, has refused to divulge anything.
Refuting the allegations that he is planning to be the next chief minister of the state, Biswajit Singh said, “It’s not about leadership. It’s about commitment. Whatever responsibility I have been given, I should be able to perform it. I will meet the central leadership and submit all related facts and figures to prove that the allegations made against me are totally wrong.”