IMPHAL, March 5 � Manipur, which had witnessed Assembly polls on January 28 and subsequent re-polling on February 4 and March 4, will have a new ministry once the fate of 279 candidates in the fray is known after the March 6 counting.
Even as the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who is facing a triangular fight for the Thoubal seat in Thoubal district, is confident of winning 35 to 45 seats in the House of 60, Chief Ministerial candidate of the Opposition alliance and former Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam, who is seeking re-election from Thangmeiband in Imphal West district, is optimistic that Congress will be thrown out because of its corruption and bad governance.
Interestingly, political observers are keen to watch the upcoming number game in installing a new government in the wake of the formation of Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) by 11 non-Congress Opposition parties, including Nagaland-based Naga People�s Front (NPF), three days ago.
The move to form the broad-based alliance was resolved in a two-day-long closed-door meeting of the 11 parties in an effort to install a non-Congress government in the State, barely two days after the Communist Part of India (CPI), the lone coalition partner in the Congress-led ruling Secular Progressive Front (SPF) government, had withdrawn its support to SPF on February 29.
The other parties of the alliance are � CPI, CPI(M), BJP, JD(U), Manipur People�s Party (MPP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP), National People�s Party (NPP) and Lok Janashakti Party.
Manipur Pradesh Congress Party (MPCC) president Gaikhangam, reacting to the move, questioned on what agenda the Opposition parties decided to join hands with NPF, which the MPCC president termed as a party having an objective to create Greater Nagaland by carving out Naga-inhabited areas in the North-east.
Besides insurgency, governance and AFSPA and human rights, safeguarding the territorial integrity of Manipur was the main poll plank in the recently concluded polls. The major Opposition parties had even voiced against NPF in the run-up to the polls.
But MPP president Dr Nimai Chand Luwang, soon after his appointment as one of the co-convenors the Opposition alliance on Friday, told the media, �We�re meeting for another purpose and we will protect the State�s territorial integrity�.