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Trinamul feud over post

- A section of Manipur MLAs elects new president

Imphal, May 22: President of Trinamul Congress’s Manipur unit, Kim Gangte, has rejected the decision taken by a section of the party to elect MLA Khumukcham Joykishan Singh as the new president yesterday.

Four party MLAs, led by Trinamul Congress legislature wing leader Maibam Kunjo, last night announced removal of Gangte and appointment of Joykishan as the new president.

The group claimed support of five of the seven party MLAs and 19 out of 25 executive committee members.

“I have not accepted the decision to appoint a new president. I have not resigned from the post and I will step down only when the party high command (Mamata Banerjee) tells me to do so,” Gangte said today.

Terming the activities of this group as anti-party, Gangte said she had reported the development to the high command.

“I have been summoned by the party leader to discuss the development. If necessary, the party high command will take disciplinary actions against them. I am leaving Imphal for the meeting in the next few days,” she said.

Gangte admitted that there was disunity within the party, even during the Lok Sabha election.

Party sources said the race for the post of president had divided the party into three factions. Five MLAs — Kunjo, Joykishan, Thongam Biswajit, Oinam Lukhoi and Konthoujam Sarat Singh — are in Joykishan camp. The other two MLAs — I. Ibohalbi Singh and Th. Shyamkumar Singh — make the second faction.

Gangte’s group is not joining any of the two camps.

Of the seven MLAs only Shyamkumar Singh, who was the chairman of the party’s election campaign committee, campaigned for party candidate S. Manaobi for the Inner Manipur seat. The six other MLAs allegedly campaigned for other party candidates in the constituency.

Gangte, who had contested from the Outer Manipur seat, also “did not get” any support from any of the seven MLAs.

The sources said Shyamkumar is also running for the post of president. Shyamkumar and Ibohalbi Singh are reportedly outside the state meeting Trinamul leaders to lobby for the post.

Lukhoi was also absent when the appointment of the new president was announced, as he was out of station.

Trinamul forayed into Manipur in 2010. The party for the first time elected Konthoujam Sarat Singh for the Konthoujam seat byelection held in February 2011. It emerged as the largest Opposition party in the 2012 Assembly election, wining seven seats.

However, the ad hoc committee constituted by Mamata Banerjee continues to run the party without any election. Party leaders blamed “indifference” of central party leaders for the present state of affairs.

The Joykishan camp today said it was yet to receive a response from the high command to its report sent last night about the appointment of a new president.