Former BSF footballer turned journalist turned politician, Nongthombam Biren Singh is BJP’s first chief minister in Manipur and its third in the North-East. Singh, who shifted from Congress to BJP in 2016, spoke to Oinam Sunil from Times of India about his priorities and the implications of BJP’s inroads into Manipur.
The 56-year-old politician, who has been a national-level footballer, served in the central paramilitary forces and also worked as an editor of a local newspaper. It may be mentioned that solving the Manipur blockade has been his priority and in a recent meeting, he held a meeting in which he appealed the UNC to lift the blockade, which was however rejected by them.
In a recent interview with a leading English National newspaper, the Chief Minister expressed his concern over the rising rate unemployment in the state wherein he mentioned that he would urge the Centre to set up a Manipur Regiment in the Indian army. “We need to focus on this area and provide adequate opportunities. During the campaign, we promised one job in each family, we will try to achieve it”, the CM said.
He also spoke about tackling the issue of militancy in state. “All the insurgent outfits operating in the state will be invited for a political dialogue to bring about a permanent solution. The state government has earlier signed a Suspension of Operations (SOO) agreement with many Kuki-Chin rebel groups. We need to start a dialogue with all these groups and irrespective of their background, the talks should be brought to their logical conclusion. Any peace talks with militant groups should be concluded within a given time-frame”, the Chief Minister added.
TNT News with inputs from Times of India