IMPHAL, March 14 - Manipur Governor Dr Najma A Heptulla today invited the BJP-led coalition to form the next government in the state.
Dr Heptulla invited Nongthonbam Biren Singh, who was unanimously elected the leader of the 21-member BJP legislature party yesterday, on a day when four members of the Naga People�s Front, an NDA ally, met the Governor and declared their support to the BJP for government formation.
The swearing-in ceremony of the BJP�s first government in the state under the leadership of Biren Singh will take place in the Raj Bhavan here at 1 pm tomorrow.
�The BJP-led group is invited to form the government,� said Dr Heptulla while addressing the media at Raj Bhavan here around 6 this evening. �I would like him (the Chief Minister) to prove his majority as soon as possible as the state needs functioning of the government immediately.�
The Governor also denied the charge of any wrongdoing by calling the BJP-led coalition to form the government instead of the Congress, which is the single largest party.
With the Governor�s announcement, the three days of political drama to form a new government in Manipur is likely to end. Now it is official that journalist-turned-politician Biren Singh, who resigned from the Congress in the run-up to March 4 and 8 Assembly elections, will be sworn in as Manipur�s first BJP Chief Minister.
BJP national president Amit Shah and other national leaders have been invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony, according to sources in the party�s state unit. The date for the swearing-in was reportedly chosen by Biren Singh, also a former national level footballer who later joined politics, as he considers the day lucky.
On being asked about how many ministers will take oath along with the Chief Minister, BJP sources said it was yet to be worked out. �It will be a small ministry and have representation from other allies,� the sources added.
The BJP has claimed that it enjoyed the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. A BJP delegation had also met the Governor on Sunday with 21 party MLAs besides four NPP MLAs, and one MLA each from the Lok Janshakti Party, Trinamool Congress and Congress.
Meanwhile, supporters and workers of lone Independent MLA Md Ashab Uddin, who won from the coveted Jiribam constituency, have reportedly decided that their leader joined the BJP that will form the government in Manipur.