Biren Singh sworn-in as Manipur chief minister

Biren Singh was unanimously elected leader of the BJP legislature party in Manipur on March 13. Photograph:( DNA )

ANI Imphal, Manipur, India Mar 15, 2017, 07.57 PM (IST)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nongthombam Biren Singh on Wednesday took charge as the chief minister of Manipur.

He was sworn-in as chief minister of the north-eastern state earlier in the day and was administered oath of office by Governor Najma Heptullah.

The Governor on Tuesday invited Biren Singh -- who was unanimously elected the leader of the 21-member BJP legislature party a day earlier -- to form the government after four members of the Naga People's Front NPF, an NDA ally, met her and declared their support to the BJP.

The party has enlisted the support of regional parties, the National People's Party (NPP) and NPF -- each with four seats -- and one legislator each of the Lok Janshakti Party, Trinamool Congress and Congress. The NPP, NPF and LJP are BJP allies at the Centre.

Biren Singh, a national-level footballer-turned-journalist, joined politics in 2002. He was elected to the Manipur Legislative Assembly from the Democratic Revolutionary People's Party, which later merged with the Congress. In 2003, he was appointed as a minister in the state government and retained his assembly seat in both the 2007 and 2012 Assembly elections. 

His relationship with then chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh fell apart after he was excluded from the Cabinet in 2012. 

In October 2016, Singh left the Congress and joined BJP.

Thirty-one MLAs are needed to form the government in the 60 member-Assembly. 

Both the BJP and Congress had earlier staked claim to form the government. The Congress, which has 28 MLAs, led the tally.