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Congress set to lead next ministry in Manipur
February 27, 2007 08:58 IST
Last Updated: February 28, 2007 00:54 IST
Amidst the party's debacle in Punjab and Uttarakhand assembly polls, Congress on Tuesday found some silver lining in Manipur where it emerged as the single largest party falling just two seats short of majority but looked set to retain the reins with past and potential allies.
Congress won 29 of the 60 seats in Manipur assembly elections. The CPI, an ally of outgoing Congress-Secular Progressive Front ministry but fought the poll with a tie-up with Congress, won four seats and is likely to back Congress for forming government.
The strength of Congress and the CPI, which did not have a pre-poll alliance this time, is 33.
Ten independents also emerged triumphant. Sources in the parties said CPI was likely to join a coalition government led by Congress. It had expressed its wish to join a coalition government with the Congress at a steering committee meeting of the SPF on Monday.
It was no yet known whether the NCP, which got 6 seats, and the RJD, with 3 seats, would join the new ministry.
Political observers said the Congress emerging as the single largest party was because of the 'stability' factor as the government headed by it completed its full term -- a first in the political history of Manipur.
The Congress and CPI may have to formulate a common minimum programme because there were differences over the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 which was the main issue of the election, they said.