Imphal, March 14, 2012: Sixty three-year-old Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh was on Wednesday sworn in as 23rd chief minister of Manipur for a third consecutive term.
Governor Gurbachan Jagat administered the oath of office and secrecy to Singh at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan around 3.20 pm.
A number of senior Congress members who were to be sworn in along with Ibobi Singh could not take the oath because names could not be finalised.
Ibobi Singh did not speak to the press and left for his official residence immediately after taking oath.
Senior Congress leaders like former forest minister Th Debendra, state congress leader Gaikhangam and former irrigation minister Phungzathang were present during the swearing in ceremony and were expected to be sworn in left Raj Bhavan after the chief minister.
Sources close to Ibobi Singh said the chief minister wanted representatives from all the nine districts to be included in the ministry.
As per the anti-defection law, Manipur can have 12 ministers only.
The sources said those who could not be included in the ministry would be given jobs as chairman or managing directors of government-run organisations.
They said the ministry would be expanded in the next few days.
The Congress had won 42 of the 60 seats in the state assembly securing two third majority in the Assembly elections.
Chief Minister of Manipur
SHRI OKRAM IBOBI SINGH
Elected from 35-KHANGABOK Assembly Constituency
Brief biographical sketch :
Father’s Name : O. Angoubi Singh
Date of Birth : 19th June, 1948
Place of Birth: Thoubal Athokpam Makha Leikai.
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Smt. Landhoni Devi
No. of Children: 1(one) son and 2(two) daughters.
Educational Qualification: B.A.
Profession: Social Worker.
Present Address: Chief Minister’s Bungalow.
Permanent Address: Athokpam Makha Leikai, P.O. Thoubal.
1984 – Elected to the 4th Manipur Legislative Assembly as an Independent Candidate.
- Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Board from 4/10/85 upto 14/1/88.
1990 – Re-elected to the 5th Manipur Legislative Assembly on I.N.C. Ticket.
- Minister (Industries and MAHUD).
2002 – Re-elected to the 8th Manipur Legislative Assembly on I.N.C. Ticket. Chief Minister of S.P.F. Government.
2007 – Re-elected to the 8th Manipur Legislative Assembly on I.N.C. Ticket. Chief Minister of Manipur.
2012 – Re-elected to the 8th Manipur Legislative Assembly on I.N.C. Ticket. Chief Minister of Manipur for the third term.
- Social worker having keen interest in establishing Schools, Clubs and Co-operative Societies in the Rural Areas.
1981 – Secretary, South Eastern Transport Co-operative Society Ltd., Thoubal
- Secretary, Athokpam High School.
- Secretary, Madhya Junior High School.
- Secretary, Congress Legislature Party (I).
- President, M.P.C.C.(I), Manipur.
The Hat Trick Man : Rewriting history
Mr Okram Ibobi Singh has re-written history, besting his own record. Now set to join the elite club of ‘Chief Minister three times on the trot,’ a feat which only a few have been able to achieve in the country, Ibobi has come a long, long way from the day he took over as Chief Minister in 2002, helming the SPF coalition along with the CPI.
The original man from Khangabok Assembly Constituency arrived at the scene as the Chief Minister in 2002 when the embers of the June 18 Uprising of 2001 were still smouldering.
The June 18 Uprising was as much a protest against the Bangkok Declaration of June 14, 2001, as against the chameleon like characters displayed by the elected leaders of those days as well as the endless round of musical chairs that was staged on the political platform of Manipur.
The Congress was in the wilderness before the 2002 election, after the party suffered a vertical split at the latter part of 1997 and which saw the emergence of the MSCP led by the troika of W Nipamacha, Th Chaoba and Dr L Chandramani.
Nobody, not even Mr Ibobi himself would have ever entertained the idea that he would go on to become the Chief Minister in 2002, much less follow it up by becoming the first man to complete a full term in office as Chief Minister in the political history of post Statehood Manipur.
Not only this, Ibobi again led from the front to take the Congress to its biggest ever tally when it bagged 30 of the 60 Assembly seats in the 2007 Assembly election. This has been bettered by the run away success of the Congress in the election to the 10th Assembly, bagging 42 seats.
Political pundits and political analysts were left to eat crow after the results started trickling in from late morning of March 6 and as things stand today, Ibobi is set to become the Chief Minister again.
Not a bad show at all for a man, who once complained bitterly against alleged poll malpractices in the 2000 Assembly election, when he was defeated by L Jatra of the MPP at Khangabok AC and the media in general did not give it too much importance. Much water has flown down the Imphal river and Nambul river after Ibobi was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Manipur 2002.
The last ten years have been significant in many ways. Not long after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister, the proverbial revolt from within started rearing its ugly head and by a strange twist of fate or fortune, the Congress led SPF Government in Manipur was saved by the BJP led NDA Government in Delhi when it passed the stringent anti-defection Bill.
This was sometime in between 2002 and 2003 and while the internal dissent had to make a quiet and (un)dignified exit, Manipur suffered its first marathon blockade when the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur imposed the 52 days economic blockade in 2005.
Far from being pilloried for the inept handling of the issue, this served as some sort of a rallying point for the people to throw their weight the Government, for the issue posed a question over the territorial integrity of Manipur.
In between there was the 2004 uprising of the people against the continued imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act following the discovery of the bullet riddled body of Th Manorama, after she was picked up by Assam Rifles personnel from her residence on July 10 night.
In hindsight, it was uncharacteristic of the Chief Minister, but he went ahead and managed to get the Act lifted from seven Assembly segments within the Imphal Municipal Council. This may have worked in the favour of the Congress, for remember it was only the Congress which did not say anything about AFSPA in its manifesto in the 2007 election, but nevertheless managed a never before seen performance, winning 30 seats.
The BT Road incident of 2009 on July 23 was another major incident, which saw the State paralysed for months on end, with classes remaining boycotted for four months or so.
If one strictly goes by the election result of the 2012 election, the 121 days economic blockade did not matter, the overnight queue outside petrol pumps was not an issue neither was the Rs 200 or so that one had to fork out to buy a litre of petrol from the black market.
The 121 days economic blockade will not be complete without a reference to the aborted trip of the Chief Minister to Tokyo, with family in tow. That Mr Okram Ibobi managed to survive all these and return as the Chief Minister surely says something significant about the man.
Congratulations must have started flowing in, but it remains to be seen whether the huge mandate will be turned into governance or not.
A survivor and a champion at that, is what Mr Okram Ibobi Singh is all about.
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: March 14, 2012 -
Our congratulations to the new Chief Minister, with the rider that it is reserved until the massive mandate is turned into governance.
For starters try to address the pathetic power supply scenario. This we think would be a much better way of saying Thank You than a thousand namastes.