Imphal: Nongthombam Biren Singh was on Monday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Manipur for the second consecutive time at the Raj Bhawan. Governor La Ganesan administered the oath of office and secrecy to N Biren Singh in a solemn function here.
Unlike previous occasions, the swearing-in ceremony was held on the open lawn of the Raj Bhawan. Five other Cabinet ministers including a woman and a member of Naga People’s Front (NPF) also took oath. The Ministers are Th Biswajit, Y Khemchand, K Govindas, Nemcha Kipgen and Awangbow Newmai (NPF).
All except Govindas were part of the previous government. Biren was elected as the Leader of the State BJP Legislative party on Sunday. He thus becomes the first BJP legislator to be the Chief Minister of Manipur for two terms.
After a ten-day drama for the throne between Biren and Biswajit, the former journalist-footballer was unanimously elected as the Leaders of the BJP legislators.
Biren and Biswajit had air dashed to New Delhi after the announcement of results on March 10. The BJP deputed two Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Kiren Rijiju to Manipur as Observers.
After Biren’s election, Sitharaman led a delegation to the Raj Bhawan and handed over a letter to Governor La Ganesan on Sunday informing him of the development. The BJP has an absolute majority with 32 MLAs in the 60-member House.
Janata Dal-United (six members), NPF (five members), Kuki Peoples’ Alliance (two members) and one Independent extended their unconditional support to the BJP for forming a government. Thongam Biswajit Singh, aged 46, has won four times from the Thongju Assembly constituency. He served as Minister Power, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Commerce and Industries, Works, Information in the previous government.
Fifty-eight-year-old Y Khemchand, elected from Singjamei constituency for the second term, served as the Speaker in the previous Assembly. Govindas Konthoujam, aged 58, former State President of Congress and ex Power Minister, was elected from the Bishnupur Assembly constituency for the seventh time.
He joined the BJP before the elections. Nemcha Kipgen, aged 56, the only woman who took oath, represents Kangpokpi Assembly constituency and had served as the Social Welfare Minister in the previous BJP-led government.
She was dropped from the ministry before the end of the term. Awangbow Newmai, 54 year old,, represents the Tamei Assembly constituency. He had served as the Forest Minister in the first BJP government. BJP President JP Nadda, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, former Congress Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and a number of MLAs attended the function.
The portfolios are to be announced later. The Biren government can have maximum12 ministers and an expansion of the ministry was expected later.V