Biren to be sworn in as BJP’s first CM today


The promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that BJP will form the next Government in Manipur has proved true. The saffron juggernaut has rolled into the state and BJP will have its first Chief Minister with Nongthombam Biren Singh.

He will be sworn-in at Raj Bhavan at 1 pm on Wednesday. Biren and one or two elected members may take oath.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Tuesday invited a BJP-led combine to form a government in Manipur.

N Biren Singh, 56, will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of the first BJP-led government in Manipur. The Heingang MLA was elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party on Monday.

BJP national president Amit Shah and union Doner minister Jitendra Singh is expected to attend the swearing in ceremony.

Talking to IFP, N Biren said, “My mission is to bridge the hill valley divide and usher in good governance in the state.”

Even though the Congress emerged as the single largest party, winning 28 seats in the 60-member House, the BJP, with 21 seats, claimed the support of four MLAs each from the Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the National Peoples Party ( NPP) and one from the Lok Jan Shakti Party ( LJP).

The disappearance of the lone independent MLA Ashab Uddin and the switching of sides of Congress MLA T. Shyamkumar also titled the balance in favour of the BJP. The only Trinamool Congress MLA has also offered support to the BJP.

National and regional BJP leaders are expected to be present during the swearing in ceremony.

Congress leadership, however, maintains that being the single largest party, it should have been given the opportunity to form a government.

They are keeping their fingers crossed that they will be able to defeat the new government at the floor test. Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who tendered his resignation on Monday night, said: “We had staked our claim to form the next ministry.”

However, their hope is fading away as all other members of the non-Congress parties and the lone independent have as of now extended support to the BJP, and the Congress has not been able to increase its strength from 28.

Ibobi Singh had pinned his hope on the National People’s Party, which has four MLAs. However, the NPP general secretary Vivekraj Wangkhem said, “We have extended support to the BJP and it is final.”

The BJP ministry is also facing troubles since the Naga People’s Front has demanded that its four MLAs should be given ministerial berths. The earlier understanding was that it would support the BJP from outside. The NPF further said that four other Naga MLAs should also be accommodated with important portfolios.

The BJP had bagged 21 seats. But the NPF and NPP with four MLAs each supported it. Besides one MLA each of the AITC, LJP and independent had supported it. Congress has been in power for three consecutive terms.

The election result has been a total surprise and contrary to pre and post poll predictions that the Congress government would come back to power by having the majority with 28 elected.

The BJP with only 21 has managed to turn the odds by aligning itself with elected 4 members each from National People’s Party (NPP) and the Naga Peoples Front (NPF), Trinamool Congress elect Tongbram Robindro, Karam Shyam of the Lok Janshakti Party and bringing it up to the magic number of 31.

The lone independent candidate from Jiribam assembly constituency, Ashab-Uddin was another highly sought candidate by both sides as 3 was the needed figure needed for the Congress.

He was contacted by the Congress and brought from Gauhati by Md Nasir on Sunday last, but only to be whisked away from the Tulihal Airport by a BJP top brass in a chartered flight back to Gauhati.

He was with the BJP till yesterday but at present is believed to be with the Congress flock. He still has to make an appearance in the state yet and claim allegiance with any party.

Another major setback for the Congress is the defection of Andro assembly constituency Th Shyamkumar to the BJP. He had met the Governor along with the BJP officials on Sunday. His motive is to be fully established and will be known at the floor of the House.

The Naga People’s Front with its four members met the Governor today and showed support to the BJP. The party has demanded that a cabinet berth be given to L Dikho from Mao assembly constituency and parliamentary status to its three elected members.

Source: Imphal Free Press


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