Nongthombam Biren Singh was sworn in as Manipur’s first Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister on Wednesday afternoon. Y Joykumar of the National People’s Party, which has allied with the BJP in Manipur, was sworn in as the deputy chief minister. They took oath in the presence of Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla.
The BJP has formed the government in alliance with three local parties in the state – the the National People’s Party, Naga People’s Party and Lok Janshakti Party. They have 32 legislators, while the saffron party won 21 seats in the Assembly elections.
Singh is a footballer turned journalist who joined politics in the early 2000s. He had been in the Congress till he joined the BJP last October.
He was sworn in in the presence of several top BJP leaders, including Prakash Javadekar and Ram Madhav. BJP National President Amit Shah was slated to attend the inauguration ceremony, but he could not because his flight suffered a technical glitch and was turned back to Delhi. State Congress chief TN Haokip also attended the event.
Congress leader Ibobi Singh has offered to resign, after stepping down as chief minister. The Congress had won 28 seats in the 60-member Assembly, but did not manage to cobble together an alliance to get the requisite 31 seats to form government.