Gaikhangam: New Home Minister

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Gaikhangam, Phungzathang and Debendra were sworn in as the new Home minister, health and family welfare and revenue, law and GAD respectively on Saturday.
IMPHAL, March 17: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh second-in-command Gaikhangam is the new Home Minister of Manipur. The Chief Minister will be in charge of Finance, Department of Personnel (DP) and all other departments not assigned to the 3 ministers.

The Chief Minister after obtaining approval from the State Governor Gurbachan Jagat distributed portfolios to the 3 ministers who were sworn in yesterday evening.

According to an official notification issued by the Cabinet Department today, Minister Gaikhangam will hold charge of Home Department, Minister Thoudam Debendra Singh will be incharge of Revenue, Law & Legislative Affairs and General Administration Department (GAD) of Manipur Secretariate; and Minister Phungzathang Tonsing will hold charge of Health & Family Welfare.

This is the second time in the post-statehood history of Manipur that a Chief Minister has divested the crucial department of Home to a Minister. Irengbam Tompok Singh was the Home Minister during Rishang Keishing’s reign.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) was held today afternoon in the CM Secretariat to decide on the Congress candidate for the post of the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. Former Deputy Speaker Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh was the unanimous choice of the CLP meeting.

Th Lokeshwar Singh was elected as an MLA from Khundrakpam constituency in the 9th Manipur Assembly byelection held after the death of Th Navakumar Singh, his foster father. He was elected in the 10th assembly elections for the second time.

Lokeshwar was the only one who filed a motion with regard to the election of the post of Speaker to be held on March 19. No other motion for the post of the Speaker was received in the Assembly Secretariat till 3 pm this afternoon.

It may be recalled here that, elections for the post of the Speaker had been fixed on March 19 at 10 am and the first session of the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly had been summoned by the State Governor on March 19 at 2 pm.

Th Lokeshwar Singh would be formally elected as the new Speaker on March 19, and he would be youngest and first MLA to be elected as Speaker after two terms.

The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh will present a Vote-on-Account for 4 months for the financial year 2012-13 in the assembly session. While speaking to the media yesterday he said, ‘It will be difficult to prepare a full budget at this juncture.’

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