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Manipur pro-reshuffle MLAs to attend House

Imphal, July 8: The pro-reshuffle Congress MLAs have decided to attend the state Assembly’s budget session, which will commence from July 11.

The group, comprising 27 out of 47 ruling members, decided to attend the budget session after chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh yesterday assured them that he had consulted the high command after that the cabinet would be reshuffled after the budget session.

“We will attend the session in view of the assurance given by the chief minister during yesterday’s meeting. Last night we reviewed the meeting with the chief

minister and decided to attend the session, as staying away from it would send wrong signals to the people,” a spokesman for the group told The Telegraph.

Altogether 21 MLAs met Ibobi Singh for the second time since June 30 to press for a reshuffle of the two-and-a-half-year-old ministry.

The MLAs had earlier threatened to stay away from the Assembly session if the chief minister failed to give an assurance before the session that he would reshuffle the ministry after it.

The decision to attend the session also came after party president Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister, appealed to the MLAs not to make any attempt to destabilise the government and instead focus on activities that would strengthen the hands of the chief minister.

For the time being the MLAs appeared to calm down, but prepared to resume the campaign after the session is over.

“We will give the chief minister peace right now so that he could focus on the budget and the upcoming session. We will wait for him to take steps for the reshuffle. We will resume our campaign if nothing happens after the session,” another leader of the pro-reshuffle group said.

The MLAs reminded the chief minister of “his promise” of a reshuffle to give a chance to other MLAs to become ministers and perform better after completion of two-and-a-half years of the term.

Gaikhangam, who is also the president of Manipur PCC, however, said he did not have any idea of any understanding between the chief minister and the MLAs.

Majority of the MLAs, who are seeking the reshuffle, are apprehensive that they might not be able to come back to the House after the next Assembly election if they remained just MLAs till the end of the term.

They complained that the ministers did not pay attention to development activities and requirements of their respective constituencies.