Congress stakes claim, Ibobi named CLP leader
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28: With the Congress Legislature Party unanimously anointing Chief Minister O Ibobi as its leader, the Congress today staked claim to form the next Government and submitted 36 names to Governor Dr SS Sidhu late this evening.

The names submitted to the Governor included 29 Congress MLAs (Ibobi won from two seats), four CPI MLAs and three from others.

A reliable source said that the swearing in ceremony may be held on March 2. Talking to newsmen after meeting the Governor today evening at 9, Chief Minister O Ibobi said, �We have met the Governor and officially informed him about the appointment of the CLP leader.

We will meet the Governor tomorrow anytime between 12 and 12.30 pm and details such as the day for the swearing in of the new Government will be discussed and finalised�.

On the meeting of the Steering Committee of the SPF held today, Ibobi said, �the meeting will continue tomorrow.

The Committee will meet at 11 am to discuss the overtures from other political parties, which are willing to join the coalition Government�.

The decisions adopted at the Steering Committee's meeting tomorrow will be sent to the high command of both the CPI and the Congress for their approval.

Ibobi was chosen as the unanimous leader of the CLP during a meeting of the newly elected Congress MLAs at Congress Bhawan today evening.

Union Minister Oscar Fernandes and AICC Secretary in charge of Manipur Mulchand Meina were present at the meeting.

The name of Ibobi was proposed by MPCC (I) president Gaikhangam.

Later talking to the media, Gaikhangam said that with the unanimous decision to appoint Ibobi as the leader of the CLP, the next Government to be led by the Congress will be able to focus on peace and development.

Moreover the issue of unity and integrity will be in safe hands.

Ibobi who was also present at the briefing thanked all the Congress MLAs for reposing their faith and trust in him.

Acknowledging the faith and confidence reposed by the party on the Congress, Ibobi assured that no efforts would be spared to ensure that the party lives up to the expectations of the people.

On Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Chief Minister said that the Act will be repealed from the whole of Manipur if the law and order situation improves.

He also reminded that the Act has been lifted from seven Assembly segments of Imphal Municipality area.

Union Minister Oscar Fernandes who was present said that the peace talk between Delhi and the NSCN (IM) is progressing smoothly.

He however refused to divulge details.