BJP invited to form government in Manipur

Ibobi Singh submitted his resignation papers to the Governor on March 13. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Ajmeri Gate, Delhi, India Mar 14, 2017, 10.31 AM (IST)

The BJP in Manipur received a shot in the arm after the state governor invited Nongthombam Biren Singh to take oath as the state's next chief minister on Wednesday afternoon (March 15).

Governor Najma Heptullah said the decision was made as she was satisfied with BJP's claim of having more than 31 lawmakers -- the majority number -- on their side.

BJP steals a march over Congress in Manipur too

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist outfit has seemingly outmanoeuvred the party with highest number of seats in the recently-concluded Manipur elections.

The incumbent head of Manipur, in northeast India, Okram Ibobi Singh had to step down on Monday night (March 13) despite the Congress party winning 28 seats against BJP's 21.

But Modi's BJP has managed to forge partnerships with the regional parties to claim they have the majority, much like they have done in Goa.

On Monday, the BJP said they had received support from National People's Party (four seats), Naga People's Front (four), Lok Janshakti Party (one) and damagingly, one lawmaker who has defected from the Congress.

The BJP has chosen N Biren Singh to head the next government in Manipur.

Ibobi Singh reacted by saying he had the backing of National People's Party, but that was dismissed by the NPP later, forcing the incumbent chief minister to step down.

Manipur governor Najma Heptulla asked Ibobi Singh to resign, echoing events in Goa where the BJP has stolen a march over the Congress. There too, Congress had won the most number of seats (17) in the recent elections but Modi's party managed to cobble up the required number to stake their claim on government formation.

There are also unconfirmed rumours that a further 10 Congress lawmakers are planning to defect to the BJP in the state of Manipur. 

Media reports suggest that Ibobi Singh has kept his flock of 27 lawmakers at one place to hinder them from switching loyalties.

(WION with inputs from agencies)