TODAY -
Gaikhangam lone contender for MPCC (I) chief's post, AICC plays mediator
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 13, 2010: The script ran perfectly for Gaikhangam and his supporters, with the All India Congress Committee making it very clear that there should be no election, whatsoever to the post of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee and not violate the culture and tradition of the party by holding party election.

This message from Delhi was conveyed during a meeting held at the Chief Minister's residence this morning attended by Gaikhangam, the Manipur-in- charge Sanjay Dadlika and the Chief Minister.

Dadlika has been in Imphal since September 11 to seek the opinion of the PCC members and DCC presidents as well as study the overall situation within the party.

MLA from Hiyanglam Assembly Constituency E Dwijamani, who was an aspirant, filed papers for the post of the vice president of the party, while MLA Dr Kh Ratan of Mayang Imphal Assembly Constituency filed nomination papers for the post of Treasurer.

The final decision to nominate Gaikhangam as the sole contender for the post of the MPCC (I) president was taken later in the evening at about 4:30 PM during a meeting attended by DCC presidents, PCC members, the Chief Minister, Gaikhangam and Outer Lok Sabha MP, Thangso Baite.

Assistant Pradesh Returning Officer of the Congress, Vidyapati Senjam officially announced that only Gaikhangam had submitted his nomination papers for the post of president to the media.

PCC members and DDC presidents on dharna demanding election and inset Gaikhangam


Though Gaikhangam turned out to be the only contender in the fray, the day did not pass off without its share political drama and tamasha at Congress Bhawan and outside.

Sources said that as news of the directives from the AICC not to hold any election, but to go in for a consensus choice spread, a large number of PCC members and DCC presidents, all supporters of Dwijamnai, staged a dharna at BT Road just opposite to Congress Bhawan.

The frustrated and angry PCC members and DCC presidents minced no words in stating that nomination files should be issued so that anyone can contest for the seat of the State Congress president.

The agitators also carried and displayed placards, with the words, "Save Democracy, Save Party", "Issue Nomination Papers" "We Want MPCC Election," etc.

The incensed protestors said that unless election to the post of the MPCC president is held, they would continue with the dharna.

In an effort to cool down tempers and defuse the situation, the Chief Minister invited the PCC members and DCC presidents to for a dialogue to his office.

This invitation was however turned down.

Finally the Chief Minister decided to go to Congress Bhawan and see things for himself in the evening.

This however failed to move the protestors and they refused to budge and move inside the Congress Bhawan even after they were coaxed by Congress leaders including MP Thangso Baite, Kh Ratan etc.

The protestors were at last convinced to come and talk things over, after IFCD Minister N Biren, MLA I Hemochandra and others came to them and informed that a fresh message has come from the AICC which needs to be discussed.

Interestingly, Gaikhangam was nowhere in sight at the Congress Bhawan during the tamasha that preceded the formal announcement of his name as the lone contender for the post of MPCC (I) president.

In fact, Gaikhangam did not come to the Congress Bhawan when a team comprising of senior Congress leaders were deputed to request him to come at the Congress Bhawan.

Finally it took IFCD Minister N Biren and Works Minister K Ranjit to persuade Gaikhangam to come to the Congress Bhawan.

The last date of form submission is September 13 and the withdrawal of nomination papers on September 15.Scrutiny will be held tomorrow.

Interestingly, though E Dwijamani has submitted his papers for the post of Vice President in the MPCC (I), the election notification issued by the AICC some time back, did not say anything about the election vice-presidents of State units of the party.

According to sources, majority of the PCC members and DCC presidents were in favour of Dwijamani but the directives from the AICC cut short their aspiration.

This is going to be the third term for Gaikhangam as president of the MPCC (I) after he quit the Council of Ministers following some internal differences within the party.

The drama and suspense that marked the run up to the election reached its peak, after it came to light that Gaikhangam had refused a berth in the Council of Ministers on the principle that he had resigned from the Ministry to instead concentrate on the affairs of the party as its president.

The formal announcement of the appointment of Gaikhangam as MPCC president may come on September 17.
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