IMPHAL, March 13 - The BJP was set to form its first government in Manipur, headed by Nongthombam Biren Singh, a former minister who quit the Congress last year, even as Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh tendered his resignation tonight.
Biren Singh was elected the legislature party leader following a four-hour meeting of newly elected BJP members here this evening. He is set to meet Governor Dr Najma A Heptulla to formally stake claim to form the government.
Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal, who was the party observer for Manipur, accompanied by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and BJP Manipur BJP president Kh Bhabananda, made the announcement of Biren Singh�s elevation as the legislature party leader soon after the meeting.
Earlier, a day after his meeting with the Governor, Ibobi Singh today said that he would tender his resignation to facilitate the formation process of a new government. Insisting that the Congress should have been invited to form the government since it is the single largest party with 28 seats, Singh said they could have proved majority had a floor test been called.
He had also rejected speculations that some Congress MLAs would be moving to the BJP camp. �Our numbers are intact,� he told media persons here in the presence of 27 newly elected Congress legislators. However, Congress MLA Thounaojam Shyam Kumar, who has reportedly joined the BJP, was conspicuous by his absence.
On Sunday night, the BJP had submitted a list of 32 MLAs claiming majority in the state�s 60-member House to the Governor and furnished letters of support from regional parties, including the National People�s Party (NPP), which has won four seats.
The BJP, having won 21 seats, claimed the support of Naga People�s Front (4), NPP (4), Lok Janshakti Party (1) and two Independents. Ibobi Singh, too, had met the Governor last night to stake claim to form the government.