IMPHAL, June 30: The State cabinet could witness a reshuffle soon, with the number Congress MLAs seeking a reshuffle growing.
The number of MLAs pressuring for a reshuffle of the 10 cabinet seats increased to 27 today. The Congress has altogether 47 MLAs in the 60 Member House.
Meanwhile, sources said the Chief Minister has assured the dissident MLAs that he will apprise the AICC leaders of their demand.
The Chief Minister accompanied by his deputy will be leaving Imphal for the national capital to attend an official meeting of the AICC.
Speaking to the media on the sideline of the Tribal Peace & Harmony Award 2013-2014 distribution function at MFDC Auditorium today, the Chief Minister said any reshuffle in the cabinet can be affected only with the directive from the AICC chief.
He had also said that he will be attending an AICC meeting tomorrow along with deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and that he will apprise the demands of the MLAs to the AICC high command.
The MLAs were only suggesting ways to strengthen the party and to make the works of the government more transparent, he had told the media regarding a meeting with the MLAs today.
It was a constructive move of the MLAs and could be considered on the lines of the CLP meeting held every month, the Chief Minister said.
Sources also informed that the Chief Minister has assured to discuss the AICC leaders’ decision with the MLAs soon after his return.
Spokesperson of the 27 Congress MLAs seeking cabinet reshuffle, Kakching MLA Surchandra informed during a press meet that the MLAs had met with the Chief Minister at his office chamber demanding the reshuffle today.
He said the Chief Minister had noticed the sentiments of the MLAs and had assured to apprise the AICC leaders of the MLAs sentiments.
21 dissident MLAs met with the Chief Minister this morning around 8.15 and discuss on their demand for a reshuffle, sources said.
It is also learnt from highly placed sources that the meeting continued for about one hour behind closed doors.
The MLAs had sought an assurance of the reshuffle from the Chief Minister to be announced before the upcoming State Assembly Session, informed the source.
They had placed before the Chief Minister that their demand is not anti-Congress nor is it an act against the government, said the source.
The reshuffle will infact save and strengthen the party ahead of the coming election, the MLAs are believed to have asserted before the Chief Minister.
Further according to the sources, the MLAs appealed for rotation of the portfolios among the party MLAs and allow them to serve under the leadership of the Chief Minister and the deputy Chief Minister.
Showing dissent over the conduct of some of the present ministers in the State cabinet, the MLAs complained that access to some of the minister was a problem and many of them were uncooperative and they sometimes even allow other MLAs to handle work in their constituencies, informed the source.
If this trend continues for a few more years, it would be a downfall for the party, the MLAs had asserted during the meeting with the Chief Minister, the source said.
On the other hand, the Chief Minister had suggested the discussion of the demand during a CLP meeting which was flatly refused by the MLAs on the ground that the minister will never accept to step down which could create bigger problems inside the party instead of solving a simple issue.
The 21 MLAs who met with the Chief Minister had later conveyed a meeting at the official quarter of Lamlai MLA Biren, sources said.
Sources also claimed that the MLAs are preparing a memorandum highlighting their demand to be submitted to AICC president Sonia Gandhi.