N Biren Singh was sworn in as new Manipur Chief Minister today afternoon.
Imphal: Former footballer Nongthombam Biren Singh took oath today as Manipur Chief Minister along with eight members of his new cabinet, as the BJP takes charge of another state in the north-east. Like in Goa, the BJP has been generous with ministerial posts for the allies that has helped it reach a majority in the state. Y Joykumar Singh of the National People's Party (NPP) is Manipur's new Deputy Chief Minister. Of the seven others who were sworn in today, only one is from the BJP.
Here are the 10 developments in this story:
A government in Manipur is a major triumph for the BJP as it seeks to win more states in the north east and party chief Amit Shah was to have attended the oath ceremony. His plane, with several union ministers also on board, had to return to Delhi however, because of a technical snag.
Biren Singh, a former Congressman who joined the BJP only in October last year, was sworn in as Chief Minister at 1.30 pm today along with his council of ministers. Before joining politics the 56-year-old was a national level footballer who was part of a Durand Cup winning Border Security Force team in 1981.
The BJP moved swiftly in Manipur and Goa to tie-up with small regional parties and independent legislators though in both states it had fewer seats than the Congress.
The reward of cabinet posts is intended to ensure that these parties' and individuals will not change their mind when the new BJP chief ministers seek a vote of confidence in the state assemblies.
Ally National People's Party, whose four legislators are supporting the BJP in Manipur, has two ministers in the new Biren Singh cabinet including Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar Singh.
Another ally Naga People's Front has three new ministers; the Lok Jan Shakti Party's lone MLA is a minister and even Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh, who defected from Congress, took oath today.
The one BJP minister apart from the chief minister is Thongam Biswajit Singh, who was a contender to for the top post.
Governor Najma Heptullah has said she would like Biren Singh to prove majority on the floor of the assembly "as soon as possible, maybe March 22 or 23.
The Congress, which has won the most seats, 28, could not gather the support of three more legislators to make the 31-seat majority mark.
The Congress' Okram Ibobi Singh was the Chief Minister of Manipur for the last 15 years.