The BJP returned to power in Manipur by winning 32 seats in the 60-member House in the recent Assembly elections
N Biren Singh, BJP legislature party leader and caretaker chief minister, has been invited by the Governor of Manipur La Ganesan to form the next government. The unanimously elected leader will take oath as chief minister of the state for a second term today at 3 pm.
Governor Ganesan has invited Singh as the leader of the BJP legislative party to “indicate the time and date for forming the ministry” a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan said. The statement came soon after Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Kiren Rijiju handed over a letter on behalf of the party to Ganesan stating that N Biren Singh has been elected unanimously as the leader of the BJP legislature party with 32 MLAs.
Two political parties, JD(U) with six members, Kuki People’s Alliance with two members and one independent “extended their unconditional support to the BJP and their letters of support have also been submitted to the governor,” the Raj Bhavan statement added.
This gives the BJP-led government a strength of 41 and a two thirds majority in the 60 member Manipur Assembly.
Earlier in the day, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that N Biren Singh would remain the chief minister of Manipur for a second term.
Sitharaman, who has been sent to the northeastern state as central observer, said Singh was unanimously chosen by the BJP’s state legislature party as its leader.
The legislature party’s meeting and announcement follows 10 days of uncertainty since the assembly poll results were announced, with rivals Biren Singh and senior BJP MLA Th Biswajit Singh rushing to Delhi twice to meet central leaders in what was seen as part of a hectic lobbying exercise by competing camps, despite denials of differences.
It is a good decision taken unanimously, which will ensure that Manipur has a stable and responsible government, the finance minister said.
Sitharaman and Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, who is the co-observer, arrived at Imphal on Sunday to attend the meeting of the newly elected BJP MLAs in Manipur.
Union Labour Minister Bhupendra Yadav, Manipur’s titular king and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba and party national spokesperson Sambit Patra also flew in for the crucial meet.
Ahead of the BJP’s state legislature party meeting, Singh had visited Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The BJP returned to power in Manipur by winning 32 seats in the 60-member House in the recent Assembly elections.
In the 2017 polls, although the BJP had won only 21 seats, it managed to lure MLAs from the Congress, which clinched 28 seats, and Biren Singh was sworn in as the first-ever BJP chief minister in Manipur.
BJP’s vote share this time round was a massive 37.8 per cent and political observers give Biren Singh credit for this
They consider his ability to get win support both in the plains where the Meiteis predominate and the hills where Nagas, Kukis and other tribal groups are the majority, for the BJP, a party which is a relative newbie in the state, to be a major contributor.
As also Singh’s deft campaign that a vote for the party would bring peace to the troubled state.
With input from agencies