Holkhomang, Rishang sing different tunes
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 24: Despite continuing opposition by some senior MPCC leaders the NCP-AICC alliance at the national level has resulted in Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi unanimously deciding to field Holkhomang Haokip as the consensus candidate of the two parties in the Outer constituency.

Haokip is with the NCP.

Talking to reporters soon after his arrival from New Delhi today, Holkhomang Haokip acknowledged that some section of the MPCC are still trying to convince the AICC chief to review the agreement but nevertheless asserted that due to the understanding between the two central leaders he has obtained the NCP ticket and would be supported by the Congress.

Stating that the decision to give him the NCP ticket was taken after the second round of talks between Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar, Holkhomang interacting with the news-persons at his Haokip Veng residence, however declined to comment on the exact day he was approved and granted the NCP ticket.

"The NCP should support the Congress candidate in the Inner and we expect similar response from the Congress in the Outer as decided by the two party leaders," said Haokip.

In spite of the agreement reached between the two leaders, some defiant MPCC members are still insisting on a friendly contest in the Outer seat, he said adding that the disgruntled section had faxed a message to AICC headquarters yesterday to review the pact.

To convince the defiant MPCC members to adhere to the AICC-NCP agreement Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who is also the MPCC president.

Commerce and Industries Minister Th Debendra Singh and some of their senior colleagues are making hectic effort to settle the difference, he contended.

He further stated that the Chief Minister and those opposed to nomination of Holkhomang as the consensus candidates would be personally approached to ease their stiff stance and exuded confidence that in due course of time the issue would be settled amicably.

When The Sangai Express contacted Rajya Sabha MP and veteran Congress leader Rishang Keishing, he categorically said that the MPCC (I) is still firm in nominating its own candidate in the Outer Parliamentary seat.

The veteran Congress leader said that the name of the candidate in the Outer Constituency would be announced after a meeting between the high command of the AICC and the NCP, which is likely to take place this evening.

To justify the stand of the MPCC (I), Keishing said that the State unit of the Congress has nothing against the poll pact with the NCP, but hastened to add that the reality here is very different.

"There is no NCP here," he said and elaborated that in the House of 60 members, it does not have a single MLA.

Those who were elected on NCP ticket have joined the Congress and the majority of the erstwhile NCP functionaries are with PA Sangma, so that effectively rules out the presence of the party in Manipur, he explained.

The Rajya Sabha MP further said that the NCP does not have presence at the grass root level such as the Nagar Panchayat and Gram Panchayat which is essential in the Lok Sabha election.