Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah and Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, on their way to Imphal to attend the swearing-in ceremony of N Biren Singh on Wednesday, had to return to Delhi after their aircraft suffered an engine problem.
Biren Singh will head the BJP’s first government in the northeast state.
Two BJP chief ministers from the northeast -- Assam’s Sarbananda Sonowal and Arunachal Pradesh’s Pema Khandu -- will attend the ceremony at Raj Bhawan.
“Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling and some other dignitaries are also expected to reach Imphal to take part in the ceremony at 1pm,” senior party leader Th. Chaoba Singh said.
Senior leaders and Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Jitendra Singh, who is in-charge of the ministry of development of north eastern region (DONER), are also expected to be present.
Besides Biren Singh, who was elected the saffron party’s chief minister candidate on Monday, two or three other ministers are expected to be sworn in on Wednesday. Sources say cabinet expansion will take place later.
After the swearing-in ceremony, there will be a celebration at the BJP state office.
On Tuesday evening, governor Najma Heptulla had invited the BJP-led coalition headed by Biren Singh to form government and also prove majority on the floor of the House “as soon as possible”.
Although Congress, the single-largest party with 28 seats, had also staked claim to form government, Heptulla said she took the decision to invite the BJP-led coalition as it had “the requisite number”.
A party or coalition needs support of at least 31 MLAs for majority in the 60-member assembly. The BJP, which has 21 MLAs of its own, has presented the Governor with a list of 32 legislators.
Besides their own MLAs, BJP has the support of four legislators each from Naga People’s Party and National People’s Party and the only MLA from Lok Janshakti Party.
A Congress MLA, T Shyam Kumar and the lone All India Trinamool Congress legislator T. Robindro Singh have also extended support to the BJP-led coalition.
On the other hand, the Congress, which needed support of just three more legislators to reach 31, hasn’t been able to get any outside support.
Party leaders, who till Monday were expressing confidence of being able to win a floor test, if given a chance, have stopped taking calls from the media.