Singh was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP Legislative Party during a meeting of the MLAs in state capital Imphal. Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Kiren Rijiju, who are the BJP's central observers for Manipur, made the announcement regarding the same.
"It is a good decision taken unanimously by everyone. It will ensure that Manipur has a stable and responsible government which will build further because the Centre today under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi gives special attention to Northeastern states," said Union Finance Ministere Nirmala Sitharaman.
Singh was chosen among two more contenders – Biswajit Singh and Yumnam Khemchand. The three of them had met with the BJP's central leadership in Delhi on Saturday.
In the recently held Assembly polls, the BJP had won an absolute majority for the first time, with 32 seats in the 60-member assembly, while the National People’s Party (NPP), a coalition partner of the BJP in the previous government, came second with seven seats. The opposition Congress and Naga People’s Front had secured five seats each. The Janata Dal (U) had secured six, newly floated Kuki People’s Alliance two seats, while Independents candidates won three seats.
It is the second successive government of the BJP party in the state.
Biren Singh: Footballer, Journalist, and Politician
Nongthombam Biren Singh, 61, was once a footballer who got recruited in the Border Security Force, or BSF, by playing for its team in domestic competitions. He became a journalist after leaving the BSF.
He ventured into politics in 2002 when he joined the Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party. He won the Heingang assembly seat and then retained the seat in the 2007 while contesting on a Congress ticket. He was later appointed Minister of Irrigation & Flood Control and Youth Affairs & Sports in the Manipur government.
In October 2016, he revolted against then Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and deflected to the BJP. In the 2017 assembly polls, he contested on a BJP ticket and again won from his stronghold of Heingang.
He led the party's campaign in Manipur in the 2022 polls, although the BJP had not formally announced a chief ministerial face then.
in his previous tenure, the 61-year-old was widely credited for his initiatives such as ‘Go to Hills’, ‘Meeyamgi Numit’ (People’s Day on 15th of every month) and ‘Hill Leaders’ Day,’ that has made it easier for people in far-flung hamlets to access their elected leaders and top bureaucrats. The 'grassroots man' has also promised to do something about the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, which gives the military sweeping powers over civilians.