IMPHAL, April 28 � One and one-half month-old Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress Ministry in Manipur has been finally expanded with the induction of eight more Ministers including a lone lady this evening.
The eight Ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by the Governor Gurbachan Jagat in a solemn gathering at the banquet hall of the Raj Bhavan here at 4 pm.
The newly inducted Ministers are I Hemochandra (Public Health Engineering), K Gobindas (Commerce and Industries), M Okendra (Education), Ngamthang Haokip (Irrigation and Flood Control), Francis Ngajokpa (Rural Development), Dr Kh Ratan (Works), AK Mirabai (Social Welfare) and Md Abdul Nasir (Agriculture).
AK Mirabai is the second women in the history of Manipur to become a Minister while Md Nasir, elected from Lilong in Thoubal district, gets a ministerial berth in the first attempt.
Earlier on March 16 this year, three senior Congress men were inducted as Ministers in the first phase of Ministry expansion. They are Gaikhangam (Home), Th Debendra (Revenue) and Phunzathang Tonsing ( Health).
Since the Ministry size can be only 12 including the Chief Minister himself, Ibobi is likely to follow the strategy carried out in neighbouring States, to console his remaining MLAs by assigning them with the post of Parliamentary Secretaries.
Speaking to reporters soon after the swearing in ceremony, Ibobi admitted that his government is thinking of a mid-term reshuffle in order to accommodate the remaining Congress legislators.