CM to finalize ministry with AICC

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IMPHAL, April 6: The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Home Minister Gaikhangam is reportedly leaving for New Delhi on March 8 to hold discussions with the AICC High Command on the composition of the 25-day old Congress ministry, according to informed sources.

The New Delhi visit was earlier deferred as the AICC Manipur in charge Luzinho Falerio was out of station. Further, the Chief Minister had to be stationed in Imphal tomorrow for the inauguration of the new High Court complex.

Meanwhile, the state Governor Gurbachan Jagat is returning to Imphal tomorrow.

Speculations are ripe on the second expansion of the Ibobi ministry and possible composition of the council of ministers.

Informed sources said, despite the hype over the two-third majority of the Congress party leaders are losing sleep on the possible composition of the ministry as 30 party MLA s would be left high and dry after the final expansion.

The Congress party alone won 42 seats out of 60 seats in the 10th Manipur Assembly and as per the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission there could be only 12 ministers including the Chief Minister in the government.

Political analysts say, the recent decision of Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) to lend outside support to the Ibobi ministry is a preemptive step to ward off rebellions within the party.

MSCP has 5 MLAs in the assembly. On the other hand, Karam Shyam of Lok Jan Shakti has already extended support to the ministry.

Sources said, the party high command will take into consideration possible discontent while finalizing the composition of the council of ministers. Altogether 8 ministerial posts are up for grabs in the ministry, besides some posts of Chairman and Vice-Chairman in Government undertakings.

Discussions on who should be the new chief of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) have started, as Home Minister Gaikhangam is set to resign from the post. The possibility of either a MLA from Churachandpur District or a woman MLA for the post is already doing the rounds, according to sources.

The sources added, Churachandpur district returned 6 MLAs out of 6 seats of which senior leader Phungzathang Tonsing has already joined the Ibobi ministry.

Community equations in positions of power have come into play. One of the main assertions is that since a Meitei and a Naga has already become the CM and HM respectively, the post of MPCC chief should go to a MLA from the Kuki-Chin-Mizo group.

On the other hand, the names of T Mangibabu of Thanga constituency and AK Mirabai Devi of Patsoi constituency has been floated. The sources further said, the post of Deputy Speaker could go to a Muslim.

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