N Biren Singh named Manipur chief minister for second term - Eastern Mirror
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N Biren Singh named Manipur chief minister for second term

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By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Mar 20, 2022 7:04 pm
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Nirmala Sitharaman, Kiren Rijiju and Bhupendra Yadav with N. Biren Singh and other BJP leaders, during the legislative party meeting of BJP Manipur, in Imphal. (PTI Photo)

Our Correspondent
Imphal, March 20 (EMN):
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday announced that N Biren Singh would remain the chief minister of Manipur for a second term.

Sitharaman who was recently appointed as the observer of the state for the election of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)’s legislature leader, made the announcement following a 2-hour closed door legislators meeting at Thambal Sanglen, the BJP state head office in Imphal.

Sitharaman said Singh was unanimously chosen by the BJP’s state legislature party as its leader.

Sitharaman and Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, who is the co-observer, arrived at Imphal earlier on Sunday to attend the meeting of the newly elected BJP MLAs in Manipur.

Speaking to journalists, Sitharaman said ‘it was a good decision unanimously and it will ensure that Manipur has a very good stable and responsible government which will build further because the Centre today under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi gives special attention to the Northeast states and therefore I think this decision will go a long way in providing Manipur stability and a good governance’.

Later, Nirmala Sitharaman accompanied by Kiren Rijiju along with the caretaker chief minister Biren Singh, senior BJP MLA Th Biswajit Singh and former Speaker Yumnam Khemchand called on Manipur Governor La Ganesan at Raj Bhavan in Imphal and staked claim to form a new government in the state.

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.

On March 15, Biren Singh and MLA Th Biswajit along with BJP Manipur chief A Sharda Devi had rushed to New Delhi to attend the party’s election and told the reporters that the parliamentary board of the party would decide on the appointment of chief minister. “Whatever the party takes the decision, we should welcome the decision,” Singh had said. Senior BJP MLA Biswajit also shared a similar sentiment.

In the recently concluded elections, the BJP had won an absolute majority with 32 seats of the 60-member assembly, while the National People’s Party (NPP), a coalition partner of the BJP in the previous government, came second with seven seats. The opposition Congress and Naga People’s Front (NPF) had secured five seats each.

Nirmala Sitharaman presents a bouquet to N. Biren Singh after his election as the leader of BJP Manipur Pradesh legislative party & Chief Minister of Manipur, during the legislative party meeting of BJP Manipur, in Imphal. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju is also seen. (PTI Photo)

The Janata Dal (U) had secured six, newly floated Kuki People’s Alliance two seats, while Independents candidates won three seats.

Biren Singh, former footballer and journalist-turned chief minister of Manipur, has led the BJP to form the government for a second consecutive term.

The 61-year-old has been widely credited for bringing peace and bridging the gap between the communities in multi-ethnic states during his tenure as chief minister (2017-2021).

Former editor of a vernacular daily ‘Naharolgi Thoudang’, Biren Singh, a five-time MLA representing Heingang seat, had won his first election in 2002 on a Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party ticket and later joined the Congress party before heading to BJP in 2016.He retained his native Heingang seat for the record fifth time, defeating his rival congress candidate P Sharatchandra by more than 17,000 votes in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Till date, 10 legislators including six from JD (U), two from KPA and two Independent MLAs have extended support to BJP in forming the government.

In the 2017 Manipur elections, the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party after winning 28 of 60 seats. But the BJP was able to form a government with NPP, NPF and others.

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By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Mar 20, 2022 7:04:51 pm