MPCC (I) tussles over new president, Dy CM post
Source: The Imphal Free Press

Imphal, June 28: At least two battle lines within the Ruling Congress in the state are becoming distinct.

One of these marks an in-house campaign for two candidates for MPCC (I) presidentship, and the other has to do with the pressure on the chief minister, O Ibobi Singh, to swear in a deputy chief minister.

Observers predict a resolution to the two storms immediately after the Monsoon session of the Assembly scheduled to begin on July 4.The post of the MPCC (I) president came to be in contention as senior leaders both at the state as well as the Centre, made their intention known that they want the current incumbent, chief minister, Ibobi to step down in keeping with the party principle of one man one post.

The two candidates for the MPCC (I) presidentship are former Rajya Sabha MP, W Angou, and former forest minister and a senior Congressman, AS Arthur who lost his Ukhrul constituency seat to the BJP in the last election.

W Angou, although earlier he was never known to any rapport with the chief minister, is reported to have latched on to him, and is regularly sighted in the precinct of chief minister�s office complex.

However, it is learnt that a certain power centre within the Ibobi Cabinet is strongly opposed to W Angou and the chief minister is now more than aware of it.

Arthur on the other hand is being projected very strongly by a section of Ibobi�s Cabinet colleagues.

Although Arthur had distanced himself from party activities for some time, observers said, he has of late begun attending the MPCC (I) office regularly.

The other development within the Congress party is for the appointment of a deputy chief minister.

This despite the fact that the SPF partners at the time of their coming together after the last elections had agreed not to have the post.

Phungzathang Tonsing is being named as the man likely to occupy the post and it is learnt he has already make known his strength within the Congress Legislature Party, CLP, by submitting a signed list of supporters.