After a dramatic weekend that saw an intense tussle for power between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, Governor Najma Heptulla on Tuesday invited the BJP to form the government in Manipur. The swearing-in will take place at the Raj Bhavan in Imphal at 1 pm on Wednesday.
Party president Amit Shah and Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal and Prakash Javadekar, besides the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Sarbananda Sonowal and Pema Khandu, will be among those present on the occasion.
The BJP, with its 21 MLAs, found support from regional parties to form its first government in Manipur. The Nagaland People’s Front and the National People’s Party, with four MLAs each, the lone MLAs of the Lok Janshakti Party and the Trinamool Congress, and an independent MLA, who won from Jiribam, extended their support to the BJP coalition, taking its number of MLAs to 32. The Congress has 28 MLAs.
The Congress, however, accused the Governor of inviting the BJP to form the government without consulting the single-largest party, in both Manipur and Goa.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the BJP’s legislature party leader was announced on Monday evening after the Governor’s announcement on Monday afternoon.
“… in Goa, the Governor says that you delayed coming because you had no one elected as leader. So, I did not call you. In Manipur, the Governor announces the BJP even before the BJP leader is elected,” Singhvi said.
Over seven ministers will be sworn in, with the NPP and NPF likely to have a minister each. Apart from CM designate Nongthombam Biren Singh, T Biswajit Singh and Vungzagin Valte are likely to get key portfolios.