Biren Singh was named BJP contender for the top job yesterday, after a split verdict.
The BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Nongthombam Biren Singh today reiterated his party's claim that they has the numbers to form government. While the party is yet to be formally invited by Governor Najma Heptullah to form government, Raj Bhavan sources have expressed hope that it could be done by tomorrow.
"We are waiting for the formal notification from Election Commission (about the names of winning candidates). As soon as it comes, the Governor will start the process," said Himanta Biswa Sarma, one of the key architects of the BJP's swift advent and takeover in the northeast.
The party, while getting 21 seats, seven less than the Congress, has made a bid for power claiming it has the support of 33 legislators in the 60-member assembly. Even though the Congress staked claim yesterday after a daylong drama, Governor Najma Heptullah has said she is satisfied with the BJP's claims.
The National People's Party (NPP), founded by former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma and the Naga People's Front (NPF), each with four seats, have offered support to the BJP. So has the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan, which is already a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA.
Sources said a legislator each from the Congress and the Trinamool Congress have also turned rebel and offered support to the BJP. So has one independent legislator.
The BJP's bid to for government in Manipur despite coming the second largest at the hustings has drawn barbs from the Congress, with its vice president Rahul Gandhi alleging that the BJP is relying on money power. The Supreme Court -- where the party appealed after the Goa Governor invited BJP's Manohar Parrikar to take oath -- today gave it a stinging response, saying it should have been more pro-active if it had the numbers.
The issue also had echoes in parliament, where the Congress and its allies in the UPA staging a walkout. Members of Congress, NCP and RJD raised the issue during Question Hour and Congress leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that democracy is "being murdered".
Mr Singh was named the BJP contender for the top job yesterday, on Holi, two days after the results announced a split verdict in Manipur. Once a key aide of Congress' former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Biren Singh had joined the BJP in October 2016. He had said he quit Congress because of its bad governance.