Najma Heptulla

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Tuesday said that the BJP has the requisite numbers to form a government in the state.

“It is more than 30 in the House of 60 members,” she said during a brief press conference at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

Heptulla said she has invited the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government on Wednesday.

“BJP led group has been invited tomorrow (Wednesday) to form the government. In Manipur we need development, jobs for the youth,” she said.

“Political stability and development of the state are the main concerns. Nobody has accused me of being biased. I know the rules and I go by the book. My 17 years of experience has stood by me in good stead,” she said.

The Raj Bhavan has invited Nongthombam Biren to form the government. The oath taking ceremony will take place at 1 pm on Wednesday and not at 10.30 am as stated earlier, Raj Bhavan sources said.

S Bira, a senior Congress MLA, was sworn in as the protem Speaker.

Heptulla said, “The new Chief Minister will be asked to prove his majority by March 22 or 23.”

BJP president Amit Shah, other national leaders, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam finance minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma and others are expected to be present at the swearing in ceremony.

Reacting to the political developments, Congress sources said the party is keeping its options open.

In the just-concluded elections the Congress party secured 28 seats whereas the BJP could bag 21 seats. But the NPF and NPP with four MLAs each supported it. Besides one MLA each of the AITC, LJP and an independent also supported the BJP. Congress has been in power for three consecutive terms.

Sources said that after the Supreme Court ruling on the Goa political developments it is very unlikely that the Congress in Manipur will go to court.

Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh, who resigned as chief minister on Monday, also staked his claim to form the government.

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