Imphal : Nongthombam Biren Singh was unanimously elected leader of the Manipur BJP Legislature party on Sunday, paving the way for his second consecutive term as Chief Minister of the Northeastern state. Soon after his election, Biren called on Governor La. Ganesan at the Raj Bhavan and staked his claim to form the Government. BJP Central observer and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made the announcement about Biren’s election after a meeting of the party legislators at its state headquarters here. Biren Singh, who was functioning as the caretaker Chief Minister since the recent Assembly polls, where he led the BJP to an absolute majority for the first time in the Northeastern state, had earlier occupied the hot seat from 2017-2022. He is the first BJP Chief Minister in Manipur. With the former journalist-footballer getting a second term as Manipur Chief Minister, Sitharaman handed a bouquet and congratulated him. Th Biswajit, a strong contender for the post, also congratulated N Biren along with other BJP legislators. After the announcement of the Assembly poll results on March 10, the BJP had to delay the announcement of the Chief Minister for ten days, apparently to thrash out internal differences. Sitharaman and Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were appointed Observers by the BJP to ensure a smooth election of the Legislative party leader. They arrived with Union Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav, accompanied by N Biren, Th. Biswajit, former Speaker Y Khemchand and BJP leader Sambit Patra at Imphal airport on the same flight. Biren, Biswajit and all other elected MLAs refused to make any comment after the meeting. BJP won 32 seats in the 60 member House. All political parties which won seats, sans the Congress with five MLAs, have extended support to the BJP. N Biren won his fifth back-to-back election from Heingang, Both Biren and Th Biswajit met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday. Biren Singh, a seasoned politician, became Chief Minister in March 2017. after the BJP got just 21 seats and came to power by forming an alliance with the National People’s Party (NPP), Naga People’s Front (NPF), Trinamol Congress and Lok Jan Shakti Party. Ahead of the recent polls, where the BJP decided to go solo and put up candidates in all the seats Biren had announced his party would form a single-party government. However, later he said BJP will be open to post poll alliance with like-minded parties. A 1981-batch arts graduate from Manipur University, Biren was born at Luwangsangbam Mamang Leikai, Imphal and became a successful football player. He started working as Editor of a vernacular daily, “Naharolgi Thoudang” and joined politics in 2002 by contesting as a candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party from Heingang. He won the elections and joined the Indian National Congress (INC) and in May 2003 took over as Minister of State of Vigilance in the O Ibobi Singh government. In the 2007 elections, he won as a Congress candidate and again served as Minister of Irrigation & Flood Control and Youth Affairs & Sports in the Ibobi Singh Cabinet. In 2012 he was elected again and served as Vice-President and Spokesperson of Congress, but was not included in the Ministry. Prior to the 2017 elections, he joined the BJP and won the election as the party’s candidate.