IMPHAL, March 14: Okram Ibobi Singh was today sworn in as the Chief Minister of Manipur for the third consecutive term by State Governor Gurbachan Jagat at the Banquet Hall of the Imphal Raj Bhavan.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by newly elected MLAs and party functionaries of Congress besides non-Congress MLAs and top ranking civil and security officials.
The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh took the oath of office and secrecy in Manipuri language, as administered by the Governor, dressed in a white kurta and traditional dhoti.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the ceremony Okram Ibobi said, ‘It is a big challenge this term. We have to fulfill the mandate given by the public.’
He stated, he encountered financial problems in his first term as Chief Minister in 2002-07. But things improved in the second term.
He further said, he will strive hard to fulfill the wishes and demands of the public, in his third term as Chief Minister.
Setting overall improvement of law and order as his priority the Chief Minister stated, he will give equal importance to providing safe drinking water to the people, better power supply and better connectivity.
‘We are seriously discussing the feasibility of improving the power supply in the state and deliberating on certain models applied in New Delhi and other metropolitan cities,’ he said.
He took serious note of the difficulties faced by the public due to the erratic power supply in the state and said he would certainly address it by inventing new measures and by introducing an effective system of leasing power from others states or privatizing power supply to private companies like Reliance.
Quoting the total liability of the power department at around rupees 300 crores CM Ibobi said, ‘Collection of power dues from consumers is itself a challenge for the Power department. Experimental models have been tried out in some district headquarters aimed at providing at least 20 hours of uninterrupted power in a day.
The Chief Minister said, he will expand his ministry before March 19, when queried upon by newspersons. The first session of the 10th Assembly Budget Session has been summoned on March 19.
He evaded the question of appointing a deputy chief minister in his government saying that it was a ‘family matter’.
The Chief Minister said, woman’s quota in the ministry has also been raised. It may be mentioned that there are two women Congress MLAs in the CLP including his wife Landhoni Devi.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh rushed to New Delhi by a evening flight today alongwith party chief Gaikhangam and AICC Manipur incharge Luzinho Falerio, in a bid to finalise his ministry even as minor revolts continue to raise its heads.
Ibobi Singh was also accompanied by his wife MLA Landhoni Devi. Senior leader Phungzathang Tonsing and new Congress MLA Dr Ng Bijoy Singh were also in the same flight.