Senior Manipur minister L Jayentakumar tendered his resignation in protest against “uncalled for interference” by chief minister N Biren Singh, rocking the month-old BJP-led coalition government in the state.
Jayentakumar later said that he has spoken to the chief minister and would take a final decision on Tuesday.
Jayentakumar, who held the health portfolio and three other departments, told reporters that he would announce his decision on whether to remain a minister after chief minister N Biren Singh returns from New Delhi on Tuesday.
“It will be premature to take a decision in his absence,” he said.
Jayentakumar had submitted his resignation letter on Friday evening in protest against “uncalled for interference” by Biren.
The chief minister later rushed to Delhi to firefight the political threat, it was learnt.
Jayentakumar admitted that the chief minister had called him up to enquire for reasons behind his resignation. It is understood that he had ventilated his grievances, like “interference” in his official work.
Biren in his capacity as the minister in charge of the department of personnel had suspended Okram Ibomcha, the health director, without consulting Jayentakumar.
There was no specific charge against Ibomcha. The suspension order said that it was to take ‘disciplinary actions’ against Ibomcha, a close relative of previous Congress chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
Jayentakumar is one of the four MLAs of the National People’s Party (NPP) who was sworn in on March 15 when the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government was formed.
Answering queries from reporters on the suspension of health director Ibomcha, the minister said the chief minister had “informed me about this step”.
Asked if the suspension was justified, he told the reporters, “You should ask the high officials concerned.”
Another grievance that Jayentakumar had was that despite his recommendation Dr Rajo, the family welfare director, was not made the interim health director.
Besides, he was not consulted when Biren Singh appointed an advocate general. Jayentakumar is also the law minister.
Indications are that Jayentakumar will agree to withdraw his resignation if the chief minister backs out from these two appointments.
The chief minister has not made any comment on the issue so far.
In his resignation letter, the minister says he is thankful to the chief minister for inducting him in the ministry. But he was not able to fulfil his vision due to the “interference”.