In less than a month two states. Both till recently considered insurmountable for saffron politics. When a BJP government is sworn in Imphal, Congress must be realising the the idiocy it has committed when the party ignored the Hemanta Biswa Sarma, when he raised serious disillusionment with the way Congress was functioning Assam. Congress leadership, and many say Rahul Gandhi ignored him and preferred Tarun Gogoi. Hemanta was well received by the BJP leadership. After enabling the first victory for the BJP in Northeast he has played a critical role in Manipur as the Convenor of NDA in Northeast.
The first BJP-led government in Manipur will be sworn-in today after Nongthombam Biren Singh is administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Najma Heptulla. Heptulla invited Singh, who was unanimously elected the leader of the 21-member BJP legislature party yesterday, to form the government.
The invitation to Singh came on a day when four members of the Naga People's Front, an NDA ally, met the Governor and declared their support to BJP for government formation.
Hemanta Biswa Sarma employed the similar technique that he successfully played in Assam in Manipur. With his diplomatic skill he could unite all anti Congress forces. Though Modi is being credited for the stunning performance of BJP and rightly so it should be noted that he traveled to Manipur only once. The former Congressman traveled and coordinated all anti congress forces. And the central leadership of BJP reposed faith in his political acumen and in the end from zero in Assembly BJP could reach 21 MLAs. The party is now claiming support of 32 MLAs.
On being asked about how many ministers will take oath along with the Chief Minister, BJP sources here said it was yet to be worked out. "However, It will be a small ministry and it will have representation from other allies," the sources said.
"Four NPF MLAs met the Governor and extended their support to the BJP for government formation," a Raj Bhavan source told PTI. The BJP has claimed support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member assembly.
A BJP delegation had met the Governor on Sunday with 21 party MLAs besides four of NPP, and one legislator each of LJP, TMC and Congress. The BJP had also claimed the support of the NPF and submitted a letter from the Naga People's Front president pledging the party's support to form the government.
Raj Bhavan sources said the Governor wanted to meet the NPF MLAs personally to ascertain whether they backed the BJP in forming the government.
Congress, which has 28 MLAs, led the tally. Okram Ibobi Singh, its Chief Minister for three consecutive terms, had resigned and staked claim to form the government, but numbers were on BJP's side.
BJP runs a coalition government in Assam and has its own government in Arunachal Pradesh after it effected defection.