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Manipur’s first BJP-led govt to be sworn on Wednesday

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-03-2017 PTI

Imphal: The first BJP-led government in Manipur will be sworn-in on Wednesday when N. Biren Singh is administered the oath of chief minister’s office and secrecy by Governor Najma Heptulla.

Manipur election results declared Saturday showed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 21 seats in Manipur, the Congress 28, followed by single-digit victories by TMC (1), NPF (4), LJP (1) and NPP (4). One seat went to an independent candidate.

Heptulla on Tuesday invited Singh, who was unanimously elected the leader of the 21-member Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party on Monday, to form the Manipur government.

The invitation to Singh came on a day when four members of the Naga People’s Front (NPF), an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), met the governor and declared their support to the BJP for government formation.

People in the Raj Bhavan aware of the development said the swearing-in would take place at 1pm on Wednesday. On being asked about how many ministers will take oath along with N. Biren Singh, people in know of the matter in the BJP said that it was yet to be worked out.

“However, It will be a small ministry and it will have representation from other allies,” the people said.

“Four NPF MLAs met the governor and extended their support to BJP for government formation,” the person in the Raj Bhavan said.

The BJP has claimed support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member assembly. A BJP delegation had met the Governor on Sunday with 21 party MLAs besides four of NPP, and one legislator each of LJP, TMC and Congress.

The BJP had also claimed the support of the NPF and submitted a letter from the Naga People’s Front president pledging the party’s support to form the government. People in the Raj Bhawan aware of the developments said Heptullah wanted to meet the NPF MLAs personally to ascertain whether they backed the BJP in forming the government.

After Goa, Manipur would be the second state where the BJP would form a government despite not being the single largest party. In both the states, the BJP has cobbled up a post-poll alliance despite the Congress getting more seats—28 in Manipur and 17 in Goa—in both the states.

Outgoing Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress had resigned and staked claim to form the government, but the numbers were on the BJP’s side.

The BJP runs a coalition government in Assam and has its own government in Arunachal Pradesh crafted through defection.

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