Imphal: Amid the massive Cabinet reshuffle which took place in Manipur recently, a mass protest was staged against chief minister N Biren Singh for removal of Nemcha Kipgen, the lone woman minister, in the BJP-led coalition government, on Friday.
Over hundreds of women gathered at Nute Kailhang (Women’s Market) at Kangpokpi district headquarters and demanded re-appointment of Kipgen in the council of ministers, while shouting slogans like ‘Love live Nemcha Kipgen’.
The irate protestors not only burnt the effigy of CM Singh but also lashed out at the BJP-led coalition government for mocking the BJP’s manifesto of empowering women in the state.
The women protestors carried placards with messages such as ‘We strongly condemn dropping of the lone woman minister from the council of minister, N Biren Singh Ripped the Blooming Lotus in Kangpokpi A/C, Biren led BJP govt kills women’s reservation in Manipur, annihilates women opportunities and Modi’s Acche Din in Manipur is gone’.
Speaking to media persons, general secretary of Kuki Women Union Sardar Hills (KWUSH) Hethem Kipgen said that dropping of Nemcha Kipgen, the lone woman minister, from the cabinet is not only subjugating the women community of the state but also underrating and undervaluing the women of her constituency which the women community cannot take it softly and lightly.
Hethem also questioned if the BJP’s claim of political empowerment of women in governance and its commitment to implement 33 per cent of seats to women reservation in Parliament and the state Assemblies has become a mockery.
Terming the new cabinet as anti-rural development, the protestors also warned of intensive agitating if the government fail to re-instate the former social welfare minister in the cabinet.
The sit-in protest was participated by various women organisations of the district, including Kuki Women Union Sardar Hills, Kangpokpi Women Welfare Organisation apart from various villages’ chief and Kangpokpi town committee.
Meanwhile, the change of CM Biren’s ministry has triggered another political upheaval in the state following ally parties, including National People’s Party (NPP) and LJP, hinting at withdrawal of support to the BJP-led government.
Former CA&D minister Karam Shyam of LJP said that the party will decide whether they will continue to support the BJP-led coalition or not after a meeting with the central party leaders.
“I have no hard feelings for being dropped from the cabinet; however, dropping him without prior information is against the ethics of a coalition government,” said the former minister.