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Okram Ibobi Singh prioritises issues in Manipur (Manipur Newsletter)

Manipur,Politics, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 IANS

Imphal, March 25 (IANS) If the recent moves of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh are any indication, the veteran Congressman is on the track to ensure another full five- year term in office.


After leading the party to a landslide victory and silencing the opposition parties, the chief minister got down to business immediately and initiated steps to silence the opposition from within the party.


While the chief minister had already allotted the home portfolio to Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Gaikhangam, another senior leader Y. Erabot Singh is also likely to be given important portfolio.


Both Gaikhangam and Y. Erabot Singh were known to be close to AICC leadership in New Delhi and both had reportedly wanted a change in the state leadership this time.


Singh, who is known for bringing stability to Manipur politics and the only chief minister to complete two full five year term in office, also seems to have taken up steps to solve the burning problems of the state - law and order, power crisis, road connectivity and drinking water.


"The problem of insurgency must be tackled politically and the government is already on the job of making blueprints to start negotiations with the major militant outfits of the state," said a senior party leader, while adding that civil society groups are likely to be involved in this regard.


"We hope to complete the expansion of the cabinet and allotment of portfolios by middle of May this year. It is difficult to start the process of initiating development projects without the expansion of the cabinet," he said.


However, the important issues like the power crisis and road connectivity had already been taken up. The chief minister had asked two MLAs of the party to supervise the road expansion works on NH 39, the stretch between Mao to Imphal.


"The efforts of our government in the last term have brought dividends. We need to work more this time so that people are confident once again," he said, and added that the party also has the larger responsibility to preserve the age old unity of the Manipuris.


The people of the state gave a clear mandate this time by voting us to power. The people of Manipur also proved that they want to identify themselves as Manipuris and not as Nagas or Meitis or Kukis or as Muslims. It is evident from the fact that the Congress has won 14 seats out of 20 seats in the hills constituencies, which are mainly dominated by Kukis and other ethnic groups," he said, adding that efforts are on to ensure


that even the minority communities are represented in the government.


(Anup Sharma can be contacted at


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