A collection of media reports published on 13 March on the candidacy of Nongthombam Biren as the chief minister of Manipur

Image courtesy: Hindustan Times/PTI

BJP chooses Biren as CM candidate

CM Okram Ibobi resigns to facilitate govt formation

Imphal Free Press

BJP’s Nongthombam Biren was today elected as the legislature party leader in Manipur and has this evening met the Governor Najma Heptulla at 7 pm to stake claim to form the government. Biren, MLA from Heingang Constituency, will be the BJP’s first chief minister in the state. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi submitted his resignation papers to the Governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla to facilitate the formation of a new government in the state.

Biren’s election as leader was announced at Classic Grande at a press conference attended by BJP central observer and union power minister Piyush Goel, union HRD minister and election in charge of Manipur Prakash Javadekar, MP and BJP north east in charge, Prahlad Patel and other party members. Addressing the media minutes before leaving, Piyush Goyal said that after extensive discussions and deliberations, the party and the 21 newly elected MLAs have unanimously elected N Biren to become the leader of the BJP’s legislature party.

‘The BJP legislative party met in Imphal, where all 21 newly elected MLAs were present and after extensive consultation with BJP party president Amit Shahji, the name of N. Biren was proposed by Bishwajit and seconded by Dr.Radheshyam, Nemcha Kipgen and Vungzagin Valte. N.Biren has been unanimously elected the leader of the legislative party. He will be the first BJP chief minister of Manipur, we will shortly leave for Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government. We have an overwhelming majority with the support of several parties including the NPP, NPF and the LJP and several other MLAs,’ Goyal said.

Addressing the media, chief ministerial candidate N Biren said, ‘I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, party president Amit Shahji and all the senior ministers and my colleagues present including general secretary of the party Bishawjit for electing me. There has been mis-governance in Manipur and our endeavor will be to bring good governance to the state. The mandate of the people of Manipur has been for change and we will bring that change to the state.’

Earlier today, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi said he would resign by tomorrow to facilitate the process of government formation in the state which has got a hung assembly following the just-concluded elections.

‘I will resign by tomorrow to facilitate the process of government formation,’ he told reporters here.

Ibobi’s announcement came immediately after Governor Najma Heptulla told the press of not having receiving his resignation, a process which is a must for initiating the formation of a new government.

‘I have not received, till today, any resignation letter from the Chief Minister, though yesterday I told him that the process of formation of the government will begin once he resigns,’ Heptullah told reporters here.

Ibobi, however, has been arguing that with the Congress emerging as the single largest party, he should be given the first opportunity to form the government.

‘I am ready for a floor test and I have the numbers with me,’ said Ibobi.

Heptulla, on the other hand informed that she was approached by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders along with its supporters to stake claim to form the government.

‘Along with one LJP MLA, the four MLAs of NPP, one MLA from Trinamool Congress and one MLA from the Congress Party called on me. The president of NPP spoke to me on telephone and sent the letter of support to BJP-led government to the governor’s house. I was satisfied that they have the support of 32 MLAs,’ she said.

Heptullah further said that the Chief Minister came to meet her post the meeting with the BJP–led delegation to form the government in the state.

‘After an hour the Chief Minister came to meet me with his deputy CM and party president with a letter to claim that he should be called because he is the single largest party, they also brought a letter on behalf of NPP signed by two people, secretary and the president, and When I saw that letter, I told him that he cannot bring the letter on behalf of NPP and they should personally come over here,’ she said.

‘I told the Chief Minister that first you resign then only I can start the process of formation of the government. He didn’t say anything and just went away,’ Heptullah added.

Heptullah further said that the Election Commission of India will give her a notification with a list of elected members and only then she will start the process.

In Manipur, efforts continue for government formation in the state as both the BJP and Congress met the Governor in Imphal last night, with the ruling Congress staking claim to form the government and BJP showing its strength. The Governor asked incumbent Chief Minister of the Congress to submit his resignation immediately so that the process of formation of the next government can be started. This led to the resignation of Chief Minister Ibobi to resign today.

The Congress had won 28 seats in Manipur, followed by the BJP 21. The NPP and the NPF have won four seats each, while the LJP and the Trinamool Congress have bagged one seat each.

Image: A screenshot from NDTV

BJP names N Biren as chief minister candidate for Manipur

Hindustan Times

Nongthombam Biren is greeted after he was elected at BJP legislature party leader in Imphal on Monday. Union power minister and BJP observer Piyush Goyal and HRD minister Prakash Javadekar are also seen. Nongthombam Biren, a former national level soccer player, is the BJP’s choice for chief minister in Manipur, the party has announced, ending two days of speculations and a string of closed-door meetings since a split verdict in the northeastern state.

A former minister in the Congress government led by Okram Ibobi, 56-year-old Biren will be the first BJP chief minister of Manipur if the party forms the next government. Manipur will be the third state in the region under the BJP since its victory in Assam last year and underline the party’s growing acceptance in the northeast, for long a Congress stronghold barring Tripura, a Left bastion.

‘After extensive consultations and discussions….N Biren has been elected unanimously as the leader of the party,’ senior party leader and Union minister Piyush Goyal told journalists on Tuesday evening.

Soon after his election, Biren and other BJP MLAs met governor Najma Heptulla at the Raj Bhawan and presented a list of legislators supporting a BJP-led coalition to stake the party’s claim to form the next government. Incumbent chief minister Okram Ibobi too met the Governor nearly an hour after the BJP and submitted his resignation. He reiterated the party’s claim to form to the next government as it is the single largest in the assembly.

All eyes are now on the Raj Bhawan to see which side—the BJP-led coalition with 32 MLAs or the single largest party Congress with 28 legislators—would get the invitation to form the next government. It is expected the governor would invite one of the two parties, most probably on Tuesday. Biren was elected after a four-hour-long meeting of BJP’s 21 newly elected MLAs in the presence of senior leaders Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe who reached Imphal on Monday.

‘It is a great challenge (for me). I left Congress because of mis-governance. The BJP has to give (good) governance to the people of Manipur who have given a mandate for change,’ Biren said soon after his name was announced.

Biren was also a journalist before joining politics. He resigned from the Congress in October to join the BJP and played a key role in the party’s electoral success where its figure rose from zero in 2012 to 21 this time. Since the BJP hadn’t announced the name of their chief minister candidate ahead of the polls there were speculations and politicking on who would get the top post once it became clear the party could form the next government.

Biren’s selection was made easier by the electoral defeats of T Chaoba and Y Erabot, two senior leaders and potential chief minister candidates.

‘We have the support of three parties, Naga Peoples’ Front (4), National People’s Party (4), Lok Janshakti Party (1) and certain other newly elected MLAs. We have an absolute majority in the assembly and N Biren will be the new chief minister of Manipur,’ said Goyal.

The BJP and allies like NPP had met the governor on Sunday night and presented a list of 32 MLAs including Congress legislator T Shyam Kumar and the only All India Trinamool Congress MLA, T Robindro.

Manipur assembly has 60 members and a party or coalition needs to have 31 legislators to form government. Congress, which has 28 MLAs, had also staked claim to form government on Sunday—hours after the BJP met the governor. Earlier in the day, incumbent chief minister Okram Ibobi announced his decision to resign from his post.

Ibobi had said on Monday that none of their 28 MLAs have switched sides to the BJP camp, and since Congress is the single largest party, the governor should invite it first and let it prove majority with a floor test in the House. In a separate development, NPF denied rumours that the party’s state unit had put forth pre-conditions before joining the BJP-led coalition.

The party with 4 MLAs had made it clear on Saturday it would support any non-Congress government in Manipur. There were speculations in Imphal on Monday that its legislators could move to Congress side.

Image: A screenshot from NDTV

BJP’s Nongthombam Biren set to be new CM

Firstpost

Imphal: Former editor and minister Nongthombam Biren was on Monday unanimously elected as the BJP legislature party leader in Manipur, and will stake claim to form the next ministry, the party said. The election was held under the supervision of Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal here.

His name was proposed by Thongam Bishwajit, MLA and seconded by Radheshyam, Nemcha Haokip and some others. All the 21 BJP MLAs were present in the crucial meeting. Earlier, Bishwajit was one of the contenders. But he later withdrew to choose Biren unanimously. Biren will be meeting Governor Najma Heptulla to stake his claim to form the next ministry. The Bharatiya Janata Party now has the support of 32 members in the 60-member Assembly.

Biren had been editor of Naharolgi Thoudang, a vernacular daily. Later he joined politics and got elected from his Heingang constituency. He had been a cabinet minister in the Congress government for over 10 years holding important portfolios. He had resigned from the membership of the House and the primary membership of the Congress party last year and joined the BJP. He got elected from Heingang in the March elections.

Biren told IANS that people had voted against corruption and atrocities, including fake encounters.

‘Our government shall probe various corruptions and book those guilty of fake encounters. We are thankful to the people for voting us to power and we will not let down the people,’ Biren said.

He was one of the Congress ministers who were critical of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi who had faced ouster campaigns. In a late night press conference on Sunday, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi said that he has requested Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah to invite the Congress to form the government as they were the single largest party.

In another development, Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi, in a sudden turn-around, on Monday evening announced that he will tender resignation within 24 hours.

‘I went to the Raj Bhavan, met the governor and urged her to give the Congress the first chance to show strength on the floor of the House because the Congress is single largest party. I am hoping that governor will do justice,’he said on Sunday.

The chief minister paraded all 27 congress MLAs as a show of strength before the media. ‘The BJP has no principles. Before the election, they announced no ties with NPF. Now they are saying they are tying up with NPF. The people of Manipur will never accept ties with a party that is hell-bent on breaking up Manipur,’ he had said.

Governor Heptulla had instructed him to resign so that she could proceed with the conduct of the swearing in ceremony for the next Chief Minister. Ibobi had been refusing to resign pointing out that he enjoys majority support.

However, he has been unable to cobble up support. He claimed to enjoy the support of the four MLAs of the National People’s Party on the basis of a letter he got from the party soon after the declaration of the assembly results. He may use the next 24 hours to fight a last ditch battle to woo other MLAs.

However, Vivekraj Wangkhem, general secretary of the NPP said: ‘There have been changes. We have decided to support the BJP. This is final. There is no question of our party supporting the Congress even if Ibobi is given a chance.’

Heptulla had pointed out to Ibobi that just a letter of support would not suffice and insisted on the physical presence of the four NPP MLAs.

The BJP was within a striking distance of forming a government in Manipur for the first time though it emerged as the second largest party after the Congress, provided it is able to enlist the support of three NDA partners. The election threw up a hung verdict with none of the two mainstream parties being able to cross the magic figure of 31 in the 60-member Assembly. The Congress was the closest with 28 seats against BJP’s 21, an impressive performance by all accounts.

After its stunning victory in Assam in 2016, the BJP scripted a dramatic turnaround of fortunes in the Northeast, a traditional stronghold of the Congress, bagging 36.3 percent votes, which is even higher than the Congress which polled 35.1 percent votes. The presence of the BJP was so nominal in the state that the party had hardly fielded any candidate in the last 2012 Assembly polls. Things looked up after the BJP’s ascension to power at the Centre in 2014.

N Biren, BJP’s Chief Minister pick for Manipur: Here is all you want to know about him

Financial Express

On Monday, after two whole days of suspense, a BJP delegation, which included Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal, along with CM candidate Nongthombam Biren met Governor Najma Heptulla and staked claim to form a government in Manipur.

On Monday, after two whole days of suspense, a BJP delegation, which included Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal, along with CM candidate Nongthombam Biren met Governor Najma Heptulla and staked claim to form a government in Manipur. Meanwhile, CM Okaram Ibobi is reported to have submitted his resignation to the Governor in the evening. According to IE, Piyush Goyal addressed the media before meeting the Governor and said that the BJP legislature party had met at Imphal in the presence of all the 21 newly-elected MLAs. Following rigorous and extensive discussions with the Party President, Amit Shah, N Biren ‘s name was suggested and he had been unanimously elected as the leader of the legislative party and would form the government as the next Chief Minister of Manipur.

Here are a few things you should know about N Biren :
1) He joined politics in 2002 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly as a candidate from the Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party from Heinganag. He held the post of age Minister of State of Vigilance in the Manipur state government in May 2003.

2) He contested the next elections in 2007 and retained his seat, fighting with a ticket from the Indian National Congress. He then took over the post of the Minister if Irrigation and Flood Control and Youth Affairs & Sports. He retained his assembly seat for th third consecutive term in 2012.

3) In October 2016, after the protests aginst the then CM Okram Ibobi, Biren resigned from the Manipur Legislative Assembly and the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee.

4) Biren then joined the Bhartiya Janata Party on October 17, 2016, becoming the Spokesperson and the Co-convener of the Election Management Committee of the BJP in the state. He won the 2017 Manipur Assembly elections as a BJP candidate and is all set to take up the post of the first BJP Chief Minister in the state.

Meanwhile, just hours after Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi was asked to resign by state Governor Najma Heptullah, the former changed his stand and decided to resign within 24 hours. He had refused to resign saying that the Congress has a majority to form a government. The state assembly has 60 seats. In the results declared on Saturday, Congress won the most number of seats with 28, followed by the BJP with 21.

NONGTHOMBAM BIREN_Final

Above: An official scan copy of the affidavit submitted by N Biren (Courtesy: www.myneta.info)

N Biren is BJP’s pick for Manipur chief minister

Meanwhile, incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi submitted his resignation to the Governor in the evening.

Indian Express

AFTER 48 hours of high drama and hectic lobbying, a BJP delegation, including central observers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal and chief ministerial candidate Nongthombam Biren, met Governor Najma Heptulla at Raj Bhavan on Monday and staked claim to form the first BJP government of Manipur. Meanwhile, incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi submitted his resignation to the Governor in the evening.

Addressing the media minutes before leaving for Raj Bhavan, Goyal said: ‘Today, the BJP legislature party met in Imphal, where all 21 newly-elected MLAs were present. After extensive consultations, and consultations with BJP party president Amit Shah, the name of N Biren was proposed by Bishwajit and seconded by Dr Radhashyam, Nemcha Kipgen and Vungzaglin Valte. N Biren has been unanimously elected the leader of the legislature party and will be the next chief minister of Manipur. He will be the first BJP chief minister of Manipur.’

‘We will leave for Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government. We have an overwhelming majority with the support of several parties — the NPP, NPF, LJP and other MLAs,’ he added. The BJP has claimed the support of 31 MLAs in all.

Biren, 56, who was earlier the vice-president and spokesperson of the state Congress unit, switched to the BJP last year and was the state unit’s spokesperson.

‘I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and all the senior ministers and my colleagues present, including general secretary of the party Bishawjit, for electing me. There has been misgovernance in Manipur and our endeavour will be to bring good governance to the state. The mandate of the people of Manipur has been for change, and we will bring that change to the state,’ he said.

Earlier in the day, Ibobi also addressed a press conference at the residence of Congress MLA N Loken. ‘The verdict has been given by the people of Manipur in support of the Congress by giving us a clear majority. I have met the Governor and have requested her to invite us to form the government,’ he said.

However, Governor Heptulla clarified in a statement today that she had not asked any party to prove majority. ‘I had told the chief minister that he needs to resign first for me to even begin the process of government formation. I have not asked any party to prove majority,’ she said.

When asked about the defection of Andro MLA Shyam Kumar, Ibobi said: ‘He was with the TMC before and then with the Congress. Let’s see how long he stays in the BJP. There is no question of other defections from the party.’ He added that he could prove majority on the floor of the house if invited by the Governor.

While the Congress won 28 seats, its strength is down to 27 after Kumar declared yesterday that he wants to join the BJP. Party insiders pointed out that all the 27 MLAs were holed up at the CM’s residence through the day today.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission is set to issue a notification in all five states on Tuesday allowing the formation of a new government. According to protocol, either the incumbent chief minister has to resign or the Election Commission has to issue a notification by which a party can stake claim.

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