The violent clashes between Meiteis and Kukis have thrown life out of gear in Manipur for almost two months.
N. Biren Singh, 62, was sworn in as Manipur Chief Minister for the second consecutive term on March 21, 2022, amid speculation that he would be replaced. A confidant of former Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, he left the Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party just five months before the 2017 Assembly election.
A former footballer, Singh was sworn in as the first BJP Chief Minister of Manipur in 2017 after he dribbled past the Congress, which was the single largest party (28 seats), and cobbled up the numbers by joining hands with NPP, NPF, and Lok Janshakti Party. His football skills earned him a recruitment into the Border Security Force, in which he was a star player. In 1992, he resigned from the BSF and started a newspaper, Naharolgi Thoudang, and served as its editor until 2001 when he took another career break and joined politics.
In 2002, he got elected to the State Assembly as a candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party from Heingang constituency. After joining the Congress in 2003 he was made the Minister of State with independent charge of the Forest and Environment portfolio. He was noticed for his work in the party and in the government and rose to the position of Cabinet Minister in the Okram Ibobi Singh-led government after he retained the seat in 2007 on the Congress ticket.
- Biren Singh resigned from the BSF in 1992 and started a newspaper, Naharolgi Thoudang, and served as its editor until 2001.
- In 2002, Biren Singh got elected to the State Assembly as a candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party from Heingang constituency.
- After joining the Congress in 2003 he was made the Minister of State with independent charge of the Forest and Environment portfolio.
- He left the Congress and joined the BJP just five months before the 2017 Assembly election.
In 2012, he got re-elected for the third consecutive term but failed to find a place in the new Ministry headed by Ibobi Singh for the third consecutive term. Later Biren Singh raised a banner of revolt against the then Chief Minister Ibobi Singh and quit the Congress in 2016.
In his first tenure as Chief Minister, starting 2017, Biren Singh initiated “Go to Hills mission” to bridge infrastructural and development gaps between the hill and the valley, and the ruling BJP harped on this initiative in the 2022 Assembly election to woo voters in the hills.
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Barely 13 months after he was sworn in for the second time, he faces his toughest political test when violent clashes between Meiteis and Kukis in the hills and the valley have thrown life out of gear for almost two months.
Ironically, on March 20, 2002, he moved a Private Members Resolution in the State Assembly for a unanimous decision by the House to declare that the people of Manipur, irrespective of caste and tribes, will live together henceforth without any discrimination by forgetting all the past mistakes/misdeeds.