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Leaders argue over post

Imphal, Oct. 7: The Manipur unit of the NCP has been rocked by an internal squabble caused by confusion over the unit president’s post.

Former chief minister Radhabinod Koijam and lone NCP MLA in the Assembly, L. Ibomcha Singh, have both claimed to be occupying the post.

The sharp division within the Manipur unit surfaced after former NCP leader P.A. Sangma had decided to run for the office of the President.

Koijam claimed to be re-elected the party president by the members.

However, Ibomcha Singh claimed the election was held secretly and the newly elected state committee was dissolved by the central leadership on June 22 this year.

Ibomcha Singh today showed documents to prove the dissolution of the Koijam-led committee and also an order issued by NCP general secretary T.P. Peethambaran Master to constitute an ad hoc committee and also appointed Ibomcha Singh as the convener of the committee.

“I was finally elected the state unit president,” Ibomcha Singh told reporters today.

The split within the party came after Sangma, now the president of the National Peoples Party, was expelled from the NCP for defying the party’s instruction to withdraw from the presidential race.

Ibomcha Singh also produced a document, which addressed him as the Manipur NCP unit president, when he was invited by Peethambaran Master to the NCP national convention being held on October 10 in Vadodara in Gujarat.

The squabbling may cause serious embarrassment to the central leaders as the funding of the party to the state unit for fighting the state Assembly elections in January this year was made public.

To accuse Ibomcha Singh of misusing party funds, Koijam had said the central leaders provided election money to the tune of Rs 2.98 crore to the state unit for distribution to 22 NCP candidates.

Koijam also said Ibomcha Singh received Rs 18 lakh of the amount.

However, Ibomcha Singh showed in his election expenditure that only Rs 5 lakh was received from the party.

“Disclosure of party funds provided for election purposes is not done by anyone. I believe the central leaders would surely react to the disclosure by Koijam. He is a former chief minister and a senior leader. His act is unbecoming of a senior politician,” Ibomcha Singh said.

The claim and counter claim reached the court and it is now pending in the court of additional district judge (fast track court) M. Ibohal Singh.

Koijam runs his work from the former office while Ibomcha Singh opened a new office of the party at Sega Road on September 30.

Ibomcha Singh said he would brief the details of the development to the party leaders during the Vadodara convention.