The outgoing Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi, has been elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the tenth Manipur Assembly, elections for which were held on January 28. Thus, he will head the government for the third time. Making the announcement at a press conference here on Tuesday, Luizino Felerio, an All-India Congress Committee observer in charge of the State, said a high-level meeting was held on March 7, with party president Sonia Gandhi in the chair, to elect the new leader.

The Congress being a big party, differences of opinion were bound to crop up on many issues. However, it was its tradition to find a consensus candidate, Mr. Felerio said, referring perhaps to the delay in the party naming the new Legislature Party leader because of claims from Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Gaikhangam and Commerce and Industries Minister Yumkham Erabot.

Laishram Nandakumar, a newly elected Congress MLA, was appointed pro-tem Speaker. Governor Gurubachand Jagat administered the oath of office at a function at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. Sources said Mr. Nandakumar would administer the oath of office to 59 new MLAs on Wednesday.