Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh was on Thursday divested of all the portfolios after he allegedly described the chief minister’s assurance of food security during the lockdown as “hogwash” and “gibberish”, The Indian Express reported.

The action was taken after government spokesperson and Lamsang MLA, S Rajen, challenged the four ministers of ally National People’s Party to resign if they were not satisfied with the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

Biren Singh has taken charge of portfolios held by Joykumar. An order to this effect was issued by the government secretariat late on Thursday.

The deputy chief minister was reportedly miffed about the lack of rice allocation for his Uripok constituency under the National Food Security Act. Rajen hit out out at Singh, saying his statement was “irresponsible” and “crossed the limit” for BJP.

NPP is one of the major allies of the Biren Singh government. The latest development is likely to have a political fallout since several MLAs of the BJP and its allies have been demanding a reshuffle of the council of ministers. The effective strength of the 60-member Assembly is now 59 after a Congress MLA, who defected to the BJP, was disqualified by the Speaker Y Khemchand following an order of the Supreme Court.