Congress is going through some tough time in Manipur. First, an exit poll conducted by the India Today Group predicted that BJP is going to unseat the ruling party in next year’s Assembly election in the State. Next, they faced another jolt when N Biren, who was once an influential leader of Congress left the party and joined BJP. However, Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh denies report of rift with Biren following the latter joining BJP. It may be mentioned that once upon a time, Biren was a very close lieutenant of the Chief Minister.
Ibobi Singh, who is in Guwahati to inaugurate a Manipur Bhawan told media persons, ‘There is no misunderstanding between us. I have always treated him like a younger brother. He calls me elder brother when we meet. I cannot ask an MLA not to aspire to leadership.’
Manipur CM confident of winning
However, despite the exit poll prediction, Ibobi Singh seemed confident of winning the election next year. Brushing aside the prediction, he said, ‘Manipur’s case is different. One has to know and understand the ground reality. I am confident we will do well and there are many Congress MLAs who can win on their own because of the support they enjoy in their respective constituencies.’
However, he also admitted that anti-incumbency might become a factor as his party had ruled Manipur for three terms.