Imphal, April 6: A women’s group in Patsoi Assembly constituency of Manipur today demanded reservation for women in the state council of ministers and pushed for induction of their representative Akoijam Mirabai Devi.
Mirabai, 51, won the Patsoi seat in Imphal West district in the Assembly elections held this year — her third attempt — on a Congress ticket.
She is among the three women candidates who made it to the Assembly this time. Two of them are from the ruling Congress.
The other Congress legislator is Okram Landhoni Devi, wife of chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Though she won Khangabok seat in Thoubal district for the second consecutive term, she is unlikely to get a ministerial berth because Ibobi Singh is the chief minister.
The size of Manipur’s ministry is only 12 and currently there are only four ministers, including Ibobi Singh. The chief minister is expected to induct the remaining eight ministers next week.
“Women should have a major role in decision-making and policy matters. In every field there is a quota for women. This time three women have been elected. A woman should be inducted in the ministry to represent women,” stated Ng. Manjuri Devi, president of Takyel Khongbal Chaokhat Thourang Nupi Lup, a women’s group in Patsoi constituency.
During election campaign, Ibobi Singh had promised Patsoi voters that Mirabai would be made a minister if she got elected from the constituency, her supporters claimed. Mirabai is a senior party leader. She is one of the vice-presidents of Manipur PCC.
The Imphal unit of Rastriya Yuvak Parishad also demanded Mirabai’s induction in the ministry.
Though her supporters are openly demanded a ministerial berth for their leader, Mirabai is not saying anything openly though she is reportedly lobbying with Congress leaders at the Centre and in Manipur.
“The women of Manipur will welcome Ibobi Singh’s ministry if a woman is inducted in it,” Manjuri Devi said, adding a word of caution, “If women are shut out of the ministry, we will take the decision as a contempt of women and may launch an agitation against the government.”