Sonia Gandhi summons Manipur CM over dissent row in state Congress

Imphal: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has summoned the Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam in connection with the unflinching stand of the dissidents within the ruling Congress.

Both of them left Imphal for New Delhi on Sunday. They are slated to meet the Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi summons Manipur CM over dissent row in state Congress

Representational image. PTI

A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party members was held late on Saturday. One dissident leader told IANS that they merely kept on listening and never asked the chief minister what had transpired in the meeting with Sonia Gandhi.

The dissident said that Ibobi kept on speaking on how the government plans to cover 87 percent of the people of the state by the National Food Security Act which will become effective from 1 April.

"The government has set aside Rs 30 crore for it and cooperation of the CLP members to make it a success is a must," Ibobi said, adding, "The meeting with the Congress president and the vice president over the demands of CLP members was inconclusive. The deputy chief minister and I will be leaving for Delhi on Sunday morning."

The high command has not sent general secretary V Narayanswamy as an observer as yet. The reported formula of the chief minister to drop two or three ministers and induct new ones was not acceptable to the dissidents whose strength is more than 25 in the CLP having 48 members.

As promised by Ibobi, they are demanding complete reshuffle of the ministry and enforcement of the one man one post policy so that Gaikhangam is either dropped from the ministry or relieved of the party presidentship, appointment of chairmen of various corporations and undertakings.

Manipur is scheduled to go to elections in February next year. Though just a few months are left, most of the dissidents would like to become ministers with an eye to the forthcoming elections.

In the past Ibobi and his close associates never capitulated to the dissidents. However, this time the dissidents have made it known that they may take some other steps since they cannot go empty handed to the voters.

The political change in Arunachal Pradesh is still fresh in the minds of the high command. Besides the Congress has been facing election defeats.

In the by-elections held late last year BJP won both the Assembly seats. Besides this party which has been without an MLA for the last 15 years could open accounts in the local body elections.

An upbeat Manipur BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba said, "In the 2017 Assembly elections the BJP shall wrest power from the Congress which has been in power for the last three terms."

A dissident leader told IANS that they are keeping their fingers crossed till Ibobi and Gaikhangam return from their mission in Delhi.


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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2016 08:35:50 IST

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