IMPHAL, July 5: The growing storm of dissidence in the Congress government has led to the signing of a ‘deed of understanding’ by 32 MLAs to oust the present cabinet ministers under the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi.
The MLAs have challenged the authority of Okram Ibobi Singh openly today with the signing of the MoU.
The mentioned elected members of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly gathered at Lamlai this evening at the residence of MLA Kshetrimayum Biren Singh.
After a detailed conversation among the dissidents, a ‘draft of understanding’ among the 32 MLAs was signed.
The MoU urged the concerned State and Central authorities that there is a much needed change in the State cabinet portfolio barring Ibobi and Gaikhangam.
The MLAs that joined forces in demanding the stance are L Nandakumar Singh, Md Amin Shah, Nongthombam Biren Singh, Ng Bijoy, Rk. Imo, Kh Debendro Singh, Rk Anand, N Loken Singh, M Prithviraj Singh, T Mangibabu Singh, S Bira Singh, K Meghachandra, P Brojen Singh, Md Fazur Rahim, K Ranjit Singh, D Korungthang, Victor Keishing, MK Preshow, Yamthong Haokip, Z Kikhonbou Newmai, Janghemlung Panmei, Chantonlein Amo, Vingzagin Valte, T Manga Vaiphei, TN Haokip, Ginsumnhau, Nemcha Kipgen and Karam Thamarjit Singh.
The mentioned MoU unanimously resolved that all the MLAs shall abide by the resolutions of the meeting held today in order to ‘strengthen the party’ and in the interest of the public of the State.
It was resolved that if any of the MLAs who are mentioned above is victimised or any action is taken in the regard, then all the 32 MLAs shall resign from the membership of the Indian National Congress.
The MLAs will also abstain from participating in the forthcoming Assembly Budget Session which is to commence from July 11.
Interestingly, it was also mentioned in the MoU that the move is not an anti-party movement, but rather for solidarity of the party.
Further, it mentioned that if the CLP leader allocates them berths as ministers, parliamentary secretaries, chairman of statutory bodies, then the MLAs shall unanimously accept the decision made by the leaders, they shall then further work to strengthen the INC and strive for the development of the State. This was mentioned in the MoU which is available with IFP.
It said that a representation urging for the reshuffling was submitted to Okram Ibobi on June 13 last and another to the president of the AICC on June 30.
However, reliable sources said that the dilemma has left Ibobi in a fix as the present ministers are against the initiative of the dissident MLAs and are unlikely to relinquish their ministerships easily.
The matter was taken up with the AICC President by Ibobi and Gaikhangam but it was left unresolved as the AICC high command treated the issue ‘internal debate’ to be settled according to the demands of the situation and in the interest of the Congress party.
It still remains to be seen on how the SPF ultimately tackles the matter.