Cong to study ‘Outer fiasco’
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 06: Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing has stated that the Congress will soon start studying the factors responsible for the inability of the party to nominate its candidate in the Outer Parliamentary seat in the just held Lok Sabha election.

Speaking to The Sangai Express the veteran Congress leader said that it is a blow on the prestige of the party that it was not able to field a candidate in the Outer seat though the Congress is heading the coalition Government here.

The party will study the reasons why it was not able to contest the Outer election, he said firmly.

Rishang Keishing maintained that the AICC president Sonia Gandhi had given her assent to the candidacy of GAD Minister Francis Ngajokpa in the Outer seat.

However Ngajokpa's candidacy was rejected on the date of scrutiny.

The Rajya Sabha MP further said that though the Congress and the NCP have struck at alliance at the all India level, the AICC high command had agreed to the proposal that the two parties should engage in a friendly fight in Manipur.

However the Congress could not field its candidate in the Outer seat due to some anomalies here, maintained Keishing.

The nomination papers of Francis Ngajokpa were rejected as the prescribed forms issued by the AICC did not reach Manipur on time, contended Rishang.

Though the AICC sent the prescribed forms in the last week of February, it reached the State only in the evening of April 2, said Rishang and maintained that the nomination papers had to be filed without the prescribed forms which led to the rejection.

The former Chief Minister maintained that though MPCC (I) president and CM O Ibobi could have easily brought the prescribed forms from Delhi, he did not do so.

Maintaining that the election in the Outer will surely be remembered for all the wrong reasons, Rishang said that though the turn out was reported to be healthy, in fact not many voters came out to cast their votes.

Expressing surprise over the conduct of the election itself, Rishang said that the election observers also failed to discharge their duties effectively.

The Indian Government as well as the Election Commission of India ought to take note of the manner in which the elections in both the Inner and Outer were held this time, said the Rajya Sabha MP.

The public too should demand their voting rights, he said and added that the election this time is sure to set a bad precedent.

The former Chief Minister also predicted that Congress candidate Dr T Meinya will win the Inner seat but added that it is difficult to read the scenario in the Outer seat.