MoS Prithviraj Chauhan to reach Imphal this evening

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Imphal, Dec 11 (UNI) Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Prithviraj Chauhan will arrive here this evening on a two-day visit to take stock of the political situation in Manipur, state Congress leaders said here today.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had decided to depute Mr Chauhan, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and North East Incharge of the party, to the state to take stock of the situation, over a month after about 15 Congress MLAs had been camping in New Delhi to demand the ouster of Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.

The rebel legislators returned to the state on December 8 and were presently camping at Mr L Nandakumar's residence at Lamphel in Imphal to chalk out future course of action.

The legislators claimed that about 18 MLAs out of the total 31 Congress legislators were rebelling against the Chief Minister.

State Congress president Gaikhangam, who had earlier resigned from the Ibobi government, was also supporting the dissidents, though he had not spoken out against the Chief Minister on record.

Mr Gaikhangam said it was an internal matter of the party and would be resolved soon.

The dissidents said they wanted Mr Ibobi Singh to be replaced, alleging his faliure to control the law and order situation in the state and only favouring his constituency in the recruitment process.

Besides, Rajya Sabha MP from the state Rishang Keishing had also expressed his disapproval of the Ibobi Singh government.

Meanwhile, the Congress MLAs supporting the Chief Minister today held meetings at the residences of three Cabinet Ministers N Loken, N Biren and K Ranjit.

Lok Sabha member T Meinya and some other Congress leaders were also expected to arrive along with Mr Chauhan from New Delhi.

Mr Chauhan might hold separate meetings with the Cabinet Ministers as well as the rebel legislators and seek their opinions on the issue, the Congress leaders said.

UNI

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