It has been almost a week since N Biren Singh returned to power in Manipur after the BJP’s victory in the influential assembly elections. Speaking exclusively to News18 in his first interview since becoming chief minister again, the former footballer, quoting Chetan, said he had no enemies inside or outside the party and spoke of his government’s plans to get the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. . , Or AFSPA, has been removed from the state, and has negotiated a long-running border dispute with Nagaland. Edited parts:
How was the fight?
As you can see in a state like Manipur which is on the border of Myanmar and has been troubled before, it was very difficult to get an absolute majority with the BJP. Thanks to the Prime Minister as the mantra ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Bikash, Sabka Prayas’ has given a lot of confidence to the people of the state. We worked according to it, and the ‘double engine’ was implemented. We went to the hills and villages and it created tremendous support and awareness. Because of that, we have been able to overcome difficulties. The Congress and the NPP were in front of us and the fight was great. There have been many fights in the sleeves. I thank the people. I thank the national leaders who have given me this responsibility. I thank the Prime Minister and all the senior leaders.
What about fights in? And how did you score the winning goal?
What I believe is that this party, no one in the BJP needs to do anything. They see things at the micro level from above. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. It’s like the Mahabharata: you work hard and you shouldn’t look at anything else. I did so. We should be sincere, that’s all.
Wasn’t there a fight for the post of Chief Minister?
No, no, it’s a rumor. Everyone can dream of becoming the Chief Minister. It’s not a fight. Everyone may think, but the decisions are made by the central leaders who are observing things at the micro level from the very beginning. It is as if Krishna told Arjuna to fight. What happens next is not your concern. I did the same.
Please tell, whats the story of them big puppys …..
Belief in nationalism, loyalty to the BJP, hard work and transparency: these are some of the things that have worked for me.
Now how will you manage the other contestants for the CM post and move forward?
We are a family. Everyone has a wish or dream. Now we are more united, we have already taken steps and we will all work together to develop Manipur.
Will AFSPA be canceled?
Of course, we will. We have identified some parts of the state. We have already requested the central government and some positive things will come, I believe. It is under discussion and I believe it will happen.
Development is a huge problem, especially in the mountains. What are your plans for that?
You’re right, there was no development. I took the initiative to go to the mountains. The total budget has been increased. Now our focus is on rural areas and border areas. We have 7 subdivisions and we have appointed 8 ‘in-charges’ soon after coming to power. They will be led by IAS officers: all the officers there will work under them and competition will start in the subdivisions. As there will be competition, all the beneficiaries will get benefits through this.
The Nagaland Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO) has called for a ban on your border. It says your forces are occupying land there.
The matter will be settled amicably. Border issues are everywhere. This is a chronic problem. Dzüko Valley is internationally recognized and two-thirds of it is in Manipur. There was a problem before. Security was deployed after a forest fire broke out last year. It is not part of Nagaland, it is ours.
How do you see your relationship with Conrad Sangma?
Conrad is a good friend of mine. At NPP, everyone is my friend. Select a game, you know. It was a part of the game. I am a footballer. After the match, we shake hands and hug. They have given us support. They gave that letter to the governor. We will go with them in this term.
What would you say to Biswajit Singh, who was your main rival as well as the Chief Minister?
He is a good man. We will work together in all ways.
So are all your enemies friends now?
This is the sportsman spirit. That is why they are always respected. The war is over now. ‘No shikwa, don’t swallow.’
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