TODAY -
Change in SPF leadership on the cards ?
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 18 2009: Owing to growing dissensions within the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), as a consequence of the ceaseless agitation over the July 23 BT Road killing, Okram Ibobi Singh is likely to be removed from the post of Chief Ministership within the first week of December at the latest.

However a source from Delhi said that there is no question of the Chief Minister being removed.

The AICC has faith in the leadership of the Chief Minister, asserted the source.

According to a source in the CLP, the failure of the Chief Minister in dealing with the situation arising out of the BT Road firing incident is the main factor for CLP members to vent their anguish to the Central leaders of the Congress party.

The prolonged class boycott agitation, incidents of educational institutions being burnt down by suspected agitation supporters and overall failure of the SPF Government to control the law and order problem are some other factors that had been creating fissures within the CLP, the source confided.

It is also informed that the Youth Congress of All India Congress Committee (AICC) has been closely monitoring the prevailing situation in Manipur and had even gone to the extent of exerting strong pressure on the AICC authorities for replacing the State's Chief Minister.

Moreover, a number of complaints from within the CLP against the Chief Minister have begun to pile up before the higher authorities of AICC, with particular references to the class boycott agitation and failure of the SPF Government to resolve the crisis, the source disclosed adding that due to mounting pressure from various circles, Central party leaders have constituted a committee to check the ground reality.

The committee with 4-5 members of the AICC's Youth Congress that had been set-up will soon arrive in Manipur to assess the situation.

The panel is most likely to be headed by Ahmed Patel, who is a close confidant as well as political secretary of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi.

In what seems to be a fallout of the continuous dissension against O Ibobi Singh continuing as the Chief Minister, President of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee Gaikhangam, who is also an MLA, and Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board and MLA Bijoy Koijam left for the National capital in separate flights this afternoon.

however, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who was also scheduled to leave for New Delhi today remained here in the State, said the source while adding that no amount of lobbying or reshuffle of Ministers would be favourable for Ibobi to continue in power.

On the otherhand, the CLP source opined that Central leaders of the Congress party had been indicating a sense of urgency to resolve all outstanding problems afflicting the State ahead of the Yaiskul by-election.

With the AICC leaders aware that in case agitations sparked by the BT road incident persist at the time of the by-election fate of the Congress nominee would be predictable members of the Youth Congress committee are likely to arrive at Imphal sooner than later, it expressed.

When queried whether the new Chief Minister, in case of O Ibobi's removal, would be chosen from among the CLP members or the three Congress MPs, the source evading a direct response said the AICC leaders are certain to pick the incumbent taking into account overall interest of the people of Manipur.

With reference to the recent visit by a media team of national dailies, the source observed that to study gravity of the situation here in the State might be the purpose for the visit.

It is also possible that in case the present day problems continue to prevail the Centre might decide to proclaim suspended animation of the State Assembly, the source added.


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