Nongthombam Biren Singh
Nongthombam Biren Singh is an Indian politician, former footballer and journalist. He represents Heingang Assembly Constituency in the Manipur Legislative Assembly and is a member of the BJP.
He’s credited with bringing peace to the multiethnic state and ending economic blockades in the hills. But he’s also faced with protesters demanding his resignation.
Heingang Assembly Constituency
Heingang is one of the 60 assembly constituencies in Manipur state. This constituency will vote on February 27 in the first phase of elections. This constituency is dominated by the BJP and its leader Nongthombam Biren Singh.
The BJP is likely to win more than 30 seats in the state’s 60-member legislature, as the Congress has lost some key seats in the election. The ruling BJP defeated its nearest rival P Saratchandra Singh in Heingang. Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) bagged three constituencies in the polls.
Singh assured that the BJP government would press the central government to repeal AFSPA from Manipur and solve the unemployment issue. He also promised to double and speed up the developmental projects in both hills and valleys of the state. The saffron party’s alliance partner, Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma, has criticised his proposal. Moreover, the NPP’s leadership is not inclined to enter into any post-poll alliance with the BJP. However, the BJP is confident that it will win the state’s election.
Manipur Legislative Assembly
The Manipur Legislative Assembly is a unicameral state legislature comprising 60 members. The governor has executive power, but the legislature is responsible for law and order. Moreover, the legislature controls local government functions. It is also responsible for establishing and dissolving committees. Besides, it has authority over state budgets and delimitation of constituencies.
The last Manipur legislative session was held in March, and it is constitutionally required to meet at least twice a year. Violence has wracked the state since then, killing more than 160 people.
Opposition parties have demanded that Prime Minister Modi address the crisis, but he has yet to do so. The leaders of the BJP, including chief minister N Biren Singh, have also remained silent on the issue. They have argued that the violence is not their fault, and that it is a result of the failure of the state machinery. But critics say that the BJP has a major role to play in the conflict.
Chief Minister of Manipur
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh has taken steps to restore peace in the violence-hit state. He has asked people to hand over all illegal weapons and warned that anyone caught with them would face serious consequences. He also urged villagers to stay away from riots.
In the past, Singh has made claims that Kuki insurgents and drug smugglers are behind the violence in Manipur. He has also blamed illegal immigration and said that his government is working to stop it.
The Chief Minister is a former footballer and journalist. He was recruited into the Border Security Force (BSF) for his skills on the field, but he resigned in 1992 and started a vernacular daily called Naharolgi Thoudang, for which he served as editor until 2001. He then entered politics and was elected to the Manipur Assembly in 2002 as a member of the Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party from Heingang constituency. He was re-elected in 2007.
The BJP is one of India’s two major political parties, along with the Indian National Congress. It is affiliated with right-wing politics and adheres to Hindutva, a form of Hindu nationalism. It has close ideological and organisational links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteer paramilitary organisation.
Founded in 1984, the BJP has grown rapidly and now has the largest number of seats in Parliament and state legislatures. It has also been the junior coalition partner in governments in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
Nongthombam Biren, a 56-year-old former national-level footballer who has served in the central paramilitary forces and worked as a journalist, was sworn in as Manipur’s chief minister after winning the Heingang assembly seat on the party ticket for a record four times last year. He revolted against Okram Ibobi Singh’s Congress government in 2017 and was rewarded with the top post in New Delhi’s new dispensation. He is the state’s first BJP chief minister.