Congress leaders discuss ticket issue
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 17: Moments after Union Minister and permanent invitee of Congress Working Committee Oscar Fernandes arrived at Imphal today, a meeting of the MPCC Executive Committee was convened at Congress Bhavan and the matter concerning issuance of tickets to aspiring Congress candidates was deliberated at length.

The Executive Committee meeting was also attended by Chief Minister O Ibobi, MPCC president Gaikhangam, Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing, Congress Legislature Party leaders and other MPCC office bearers.

Besides studying the prospects of aspiring candidates of the constituencies going to polls in the second phase on February 14, the meeting also deliberated on the grievance of many Congress leaders and their supporters over non-receipt of Congress tickets.

Oscar Fernandes appealed to all the Congress leaders and workers to control the angst and resentment over not getting tickets.

He further appealed to all the Congress workers to fight the ensuing elections unitedly so that the party gets absolute majority.

In addition to seeking the opinions of MPCC leaders and Congress MLAs, Oscar Fernandes also met leaders of Congress frontal organisations.

During the meeting, BCC leaders of Sagolband and Khurai Assembly constituencies urged the Union Minister to give Congress tickets to individuals who have been working for INC since long periods.

Speaking to reporters outside Congress Bhavan after the meeting, O Ibobi said list of Congress candidates for the second phase poll may be announced in a day or two.

To a query, Ibobi disclosed that the primary agenda of the meeting was to review the poll preparations for the ensuing elections.

To identify the problems plaguing the Congress party in the State and to redress these problems ahead of the elections was another agenda of the meeting, he said.

Saying that there are many Congress leaders aspiring to contest the ensuing elections under Congress tickets, the Chief Minister remarked that it is natural to feel let down and angst when they don't get tickets.

He noted that it was impossible to issue tickets to all aspiring candidates.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister O Ibobi has filed nomination papers to contest the ensuing Assembly elections from both Thoubal and Khangabok constituencies.

Former Congress MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing has also filed his nomination paper from Phungyar constituency as an independent candidate. In addition to Chief Minister O Ibobi, other Congress candidates who have filed nomination papers today include Speaker Dr Maniruddin Sheikh in Lilong constituency and M Hemanta in Wangjing Tentha A/C.Even as the ECI allowed filing nomination papers at Imphal for candidates of Ukhrul and Senapati constituencies, there has been no report of any candidate from these ACs filing nomination at Imphal.

Nevertheless, Soso Lorho and W Joram have filed their nomination papers in Mao constituency as independent candidates.

Other who have also filed their nomination papers today are L Jonathan (independent) in Karong A/C, D Khongsai (NCP), C Doungel (INC) and Yamthong Haokip (independent) in Saikul A/C, and Ngamthang Haokip (INC).

On the otherhand, CPI candidate in Wabagai A/C Usham Deben has also filed his nomination.