BJP combine invited to form government in Manipur

Biren Singh to be sworn in as Chief Minister on Wednesday

March 14, 2017 06:30 pm | Updated November 29, 2021 01:31 pm IST - Imphal

A file photo of Manipur’s Chief Minister-designate N. Biren Singh.

A file photo of Manipur’s Chief Minister-designate N. Biren Singh.

Ending days of speculation, Governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla on Tuesday invited the Bharatiya Janata Party-led combination to form the government.

N. Biren Singh will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of the first BJP-led government in the State at 1 p.m. at Raj Bhavan on Wednesday, along with Cabinet Ministers. The 56-year-old MLA from Heingang was elected leader of the BJP legislature party on Monday.

Though the Congress emerged the single largest party with 28 seats in the 60-member house, the BJP with 21 seats got the support of 4 MLAs each from the Naga People’s Front and the National Peoples Party and one from the Lok Janshakti Party.

The BJP also managed to get the support of a few other MLAs, including one from the Congress, which is likely to help the combine reach the magic figure of 31.

Governor for stability

Speaking to journalists at the Raj Bhavan, Ms. Heptulla said she was aware that the Congress had emerged the single largest party but it was not “incumbent on a Governor” to to call the single largest party.

“The responsibility of the Governor is to see who has got the majority, who will be working for the interest of the State and have the stability,” she said

“I feel that it is very necessary that we have stability in the State,” Ms. Heptulla said.

Asked about allegations made by the Congress, the Governor said that she has been in Parliament in 37 years and 17 years in the chair (Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha) and never during the period had any allegations of bias been raised against her.

“I am a very straight forward person and I go by the book,” she said. “The BJP has requisite numbers,” she said, adding that, “they have more than 30 and that is enough.”

Early floor test

Ms Heptulla also added that she wants Mr Biren Singh to prove his majority “as soon as possibility” as the new government should start work at the earliest. “May be soon after the Chief Minister is sworn in, he can prove his majority on March 23 or 24,” the Governor said.

Meanwhile, the Congress leadership said they would not disrupt the swearing-in process scheduled for Wednesday. “We will play the role of a responsible Opposition and since the BJP government has a very thin majority, if the BJP unable to prove its majority the Congress will once against stake claim,” a senior Manipur Congress leader told The Hindu .

Cabinet berth for Naga front

According to reports, almost all Ministers of the N. Biren Singh Cabinet will be sworn in on Wednesday. Along with prominent BJP MLAs, the legislators of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) and National Peoples Party (NPP), which have four MLAs each, will get cabinet berths. Both these parties are a part of the NDA and the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) — a political coalition of the BJP and other non-Congress parties in the region. It remains to be seen if the BJP-led government will have a Deputy Chief Minister as the previous Congress government did.


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