The people of Churachandpur district have been left in utter shock and awe as none of its six MLAs elected in the recently concluded 12th Manipur State Assembly Election, 2022 have been included in the Council of Ministers or the Cabinet of the state BJP-led government.
Of the six MLAs the district has, three are from the BJP, two from the JDU and one from the Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA).
During the Cabinet expansion on Saturday, six more MLAs were sworn-in as Council of Ministers at the Raj Bhavan in Imphal. However, not one of them was from Churachandpur district. The newly inducted ministers are Letpao Haokip of Tengnoupal AC, S Ranjan Singh of Konthoujam, L Susindro alias Yaima of Khurai, H Dingo of Sekmai, Th Basanta of Nambol and Khashim Vashum of Chingai. This is in addition to the already five ministers sworn in on March 21, 2022 along with the CM. They were Th Biswajit Singh, Y Khemchand, Govindas Konthoujam, Nemcha Kipgen and Awangbow Newmai.
As news of Cabinet expansion spread, the people of Churachandpur had high hopes as they were represented by six MLAs from the district and many of them were glued to News channels, be it on TV or smartphones with a hope that at least one MLA would be a Minister. In fact, this is the first time in recent memory that Churachandpur district with six MLA is not represented in the state cabinet.
In this regards, Kuki Inpi Churachandpur President Letpu expressed shock stating he was speechless as he was hopeful that at least one from the six will be included in the Cabinet as the district is also the largest in the state in terms of geographical areas too. This is not acceptable, Letpu said, adding that former Minister Vungzagin Valte, by virtue of his seniority/experience, should have been, at least, accommodated in the cabinet expansion as all other five are freshers.
The Chairman of Zomi Council, John K Ngaihte said that they have, all along, been for inclusive development and equal distribution of power and the news has come as a shock to him. It is the end of all limits, the outspoken Chairman of ZC said, adding that if the government of Manipur does not care about Churachandpur district, they all better merge with Mizoram state. The Mizoram accord includes Churachandpur as a part of Mizoram but it did not work out but the same can always be made to work, John said.
In fact, the Zomi Council, constituting nine tribes, had, in the past, petitioned the chief minister of Manipur to include Vungzagin Valte in his Council of Ministers for balancing regional and community dynamics of the state, a peaceful co-existence and inclusive development. And such in the case here that even after a certain newspaper leaked the list of new ministers before the swearing-in, many in the district did not believe the leaked list and had hoped that at least one from the district would be in the list when it is officially revealed.
Many denizens are of the view that being the biggest district of the state in terms of area, the second biggest town in the state with one of the highest literacy rates, Churachandpur district needs to be treated better but that it appears to be just the opposite.