Imphal: Nongthombam Biren Singh, who was elected leader of the BJP legislative party on Sunday, is expected to be sworn in and assume his duties as chief minister for the second consecutive term in the next two to three days, party sources said .
Shortly after being elected leader of the BJP legislative party, Singh along with central ministers and observers met with Governor La Ganesan at the Raj Bhavan here and demanded the formation of the next government.
Ahead of Singh’s meeting with the governor, BJP Central Observer and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that Biren Singh had been unanimously re-elected leader of the BJP legislative party.
Sitharaman, accompanied by Union Law Co-Watcher and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson Sambit Patra held a meeting of about two hours with the newly elected BJP MPs in Imphal.
Sitharaman, Rijiju, Yadav, Patra, State BJP Chairman Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi and other leaders congratulated Biren Singh and presented him with bouquets.
For 10 days after the Assembly election results were declared, the BJP held a series of heated talks in Imphal and the nation’s capital, before announcing that Biren Singh would remain chief minister, even as the minister and Influential BJP leader Thongam Biswajit Singh was also a strong contender for the top job.
Biren Singh later tweeted, “I am extremely grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Party Chairman JP Nadda for entrusting me with the post of Legislative Party Leader. I thank every Karyakarta in BJP Manipur for their tireless efforts to bring a BJP government today.
Sitharaman later told the media that it is a good decision (selection of Biren Singh) taken unanimously, which will ensure that Manipur has a stable and accountable government.
“The Centre, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pays particular attention to the northeastern states. The BJP government would work for the welfare and betterment of all people in Manipur,” she said.
Biren Singh, Biswajit Singh, former Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh, the third highest candidate for the post, as well as the BJP State Chairman visited Delhi twice in one week and there held a series of meetings with central BJP leaders to discuss the name. of the next Chief Minister of Manipur and the formation of the government.
On Saturday evening, the heads of state held a marathon meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Nadda and other central leaders in Delhi and discussed government formations.
The BJP secured a narrow majority of 32 MPs in the 60-member Assembly.
BJP sources said former football player and journalist-turned-politician Singh, 61, will be sworn in and assume his duties as the new chief minister within the next two to three days.
Ministers in Singh’s new cabinet would likely be sworn in at the next swearing-in ceremony. Former Congress leader Biren Singh joined the BJP in October 2016 and in the February-March Assembly elections won his traditional Heingang constituency for a record 5th time.
An arts graduate from Manipur University in 1981, Biren Singh was born in Luwangsangbam Mamang Leikai in Imphal.
He was a football player who was later recruited into the Border Security Force (BSF) and played for the BSF team in national competitions.
After leaving BSF, despite having no experience, he started a vernacular daily, “Naharolgi Thoutang” in 1992 and worked as an editor until 2001 before joining active politics in 2002.
In 2002, he won his first electoral battle in the Heingang assembly constituency of Manipur as the Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party candidate. He retained the seat in 2007 on a Congressional ticket and served as a minister until 2012.
Four years later he joined the BJP and in 2017 won again in the same constituency and led the first BJP government since 2017.
In the 2017 elections, although the BJP only won 21 seats, it won the support of other parties and independents, including four MPs from the National People’s Party and four MPs from the Naga People’s Front, and formed the first BJP-led coalition government.