BJP chooses Biren Singh as Manipur CM candidate

Nongthombam Biren Singh was on Monday elected as the legislature party leader in Manipur and will meet Governor Najma Heptulla to stake claim to form the government.

Published: 13th March 2017 04:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2017 10:48 PM   |  A+A-

Manipur's three-time chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. | PTI File Photo

By Agencies

IMPHAL: Former editor and minister Nongthombam Biren was on Monday unanimously elected as the BJP legislature party leader in Manipur, and will stake claim to form the next ministry, the party said.

The election was held under the supervision of Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal here. 

His name was proposed by Thongam Bishwajit, MLA and seconded by Radheshyam, Nemcha Haokip and some others.

"I left the Congress because of (its) misgovernance," Singh told media on the occasion.

"I assure you that BJP will surely provide good governance," he added.

All the 21 BJP MLAs were present in the crucial meeting.

Apart from him, the other contender was Bishwajit, a BJP MLA from Thongju constituency in Imphal East district since 2015. However, he later withdrew to choose Biren unanimously.

The Bharatiya Janata Party now has the support of 32 members in the 60-member Assembly.

Biren had been editor of Maharolgi Thoudang, a vernacular daily. Later he joined politics and got elected from his Heingang constituency. He had been a cabinet minister in the Congress government for over 10 years holding important portfolios. 

However, He resigned from the membership of the House and the primary membership of the Congress party in 2016 and joined the BJP. 

He was one of the Congress ministers who were critical of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh who had faced ouster campaigns.

He got elected from Heingang in the March elections.

Earlier today, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said he would resign by tomorrow to facilitate the process of government formation in the state which has got a hung assembly following the just-concluded elections.
    
"I will resign by tomorrow to facilitate the process of government formation," he told reporters here.

Idobi's announcement came immediately after Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla saying of not receiving his resignation, a process which is must for initiating the formation of a new government in the Northeastern state.

“I have not received, till today, any resignation letter from the Chief Minister, though yesterday I told him that the process of formation of the government will begin once he resigns,” Heptullah told reporters here.

Ibobi Singh, however, has been arguing that with the Congress emerging as the single largest party, he should be given the first opportunity to form the government.
    
"I am ready for a floor test and I have the numbers with me," said Singh.

Heptulla, on the other hand informed that she was approached by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders along with its supporters to stake claim to form the government. 

“Along with one LJP MLA, the four MLAs of NPP, one MLA from Trinamool Congress and one MLA from the Congress Party called on me. The president of NPP spoke to me on telephone and sent the letter of support to BJP-led government to the governor’s house. I was satisfied that they have the support of 32 MLAs,” she said.

Heptullah further said that the Chief Minister came to meet her post the meeting with the BJP–led delegation to form the government in the state.
 
 “After an hour the Chief Minister came to meet me with his deputy CM and party president with a letter to claim that he should be called because he is the single largest party, they also brought a letter on behalf of NPP signed by two people, secretary and the president, and When I saw that letter, I told him that he cannot bring the letter on behalf of NPP and they should personally come over here,” she said.

“I told the Chief Minister that first you resign then only I can start the process of formation of the government. He didn’t say anything and just went away,” Heptullah added.

Heptullah further said that the Election Commission of India will give her a notification with a list of elected members and only then she will start the process.

In Manipur, efforts continue for government formation in the state as both the BJP and Congress met the Governor in Imphal last night, with the ruling Congress staking claim to form the government and BJP showing its strength.

The Governor asked incumbent Chief Minister of the Congress to submit his resignation immediately so that the process of formation of the next government can be started.

The Congress had won 28 seats in Manipur, followed by the BJP 21. The NPP and the NPF have won four seats each, while the LJP and the Trinamool Congress have bagged one seat each.

(With Inputs from Agencies)

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