Imphal Mar 20: A sense of pride is prevalent in the environment of BSF Punjheadquarters as one of its players who was a part of centre football team and resided in Jalandhar at the headquarters is now the chief minister of Manipur.
The officials here are busy finding out history and photographs of N Biren Singh, BJP’s first chief minister of Manipur who took oath on March 16.
“Biren was posted in BSF as a constable,” Suraj Bhan Handa, present football coach informed.
As per the information from BSF, Singh came to Jalandhar in 1981 after he cleared inter frontier level. Coaches at BSF headquarters informed that Singh had ‘right full back’ style of playing.
While being a part of the centre team in Jalandhar, he had also won Durand Cup in 1981.
Biren’s batch mates who played and remained with him in Jalandhar now reside in various parts of the nation. They remember the CM as jolly and fun loving person who was always popular.
Pardeep Kumar, who is a retired BSF employee and is now living in Siliguri told that he and Biren would live in the same room and hang out together.
“We would visit market and go to watch movies,” said Kumar.
Reminiscing the old days Kumar shared, “Biren had interest in politics at that time too, but his becoming a chief minister is something we batch mates are proud of,” he said.
One of his team mates who did not want to be named said that Singh had leadership qualities and we knew that he was going to become a strong leader someday.
He added that Singh had very good diet and would always love to eat rice. “Singh would often cook for himself,” he added.
Vishwa Miter, who at present is football coach in Jammu sports council said that Singh was likeable person and he was so witty.
“We always conversed with him in Punjabi and he would little understand it at first but with time, he started understanding the language,” said Vishwa Miter who was here in the city with Biren in 1981.
“We would roam around here in the evening,” he added.
Shyam Kumar Sharma, one of the coaches of Biren who now resides in Australia said that he was a great player and a true sportsperson.
Suraj Bhan Handa, football coach in Jalandhar said that it was a proud moment for BSF. “We are so happy and proud that one of our players is now CM of Manipur,”.
BSF officials are also planning to get old pictures of the CM framed and send him as a goodwill gesture.