As Manik Saha becomes Tripura CM, here's a look at former Congressmen who joined BJP and got the top post in Northeast

Dr. Manik Saha was appointed as the new Chief Minister of Tripura on Saturday. He took oath for the post on Sunday, May 15. Saha is a former Congressman who joined BJP in 2016. Read here about more such leaders who were given THE top chair in Northeast after joining BJP.

By Sugandha Jha
Mon, 16 May 2022 11:42 AM IST
Minute Read
As Manik Saha becomes Tripura CM, here's a look at former Congressmen who joined BJP and got the top post in Northeast
File pic: Manik Saha, Himanta Biswa Sarma, N Biren Singh

New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: Dr. Manik Saha on Sunday was sworn-in as the 11th Chief Minister of Tripura, day after Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from his position in a surprising move ahead of the 2023 assembly elections in the northeast state. The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) introduced the new face for the seat within a few hours on the same evening. BJP's new pick is a former Congressman who joined BJP in 2016. However, this is not the first time that BJP has offered the chief ministerial post to a leader who left Congress to join the saffron party. Here is a list of leaders in the Northeastern states who were made Chief Minister of state after they switched to the BJP. 

Assam: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Born in Jorhat, Sarma made entry into politics as a Congress leader. He was an MLA representing the Congress party from the Jalukbari constituency in Assam from 2001 to 2015. He joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in August 2015 and took oath as Cabinet Minister on 24 May 2016 after winning the 2016 assembly elections. Later, he was appointed as the convener of the newly constituted North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) by the BJP leadership.

In the 2021 Assembly polls, he retained the Jalukbari seat and beat his nearest rival by over 1 lakh votes. The top leadership of the BJP appointed him as the head of the party in Assam and on May 10, he was sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of the state. Under his leadership, the Assam government introduced policies such as Ethanol Production Promotion and Wildlife Conservation.

Manipur: N Biren Singh

An Indian politician, former footballer, and journalist, N Biren Singh is currently serving as the chief minister of Manipur. He entered politics in 2002 and joined the Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party. He contested Assembly elections and won the Heingang seat. Singh was appointed Manipur's Minister of State of Vigilance in 2003 and was given the additional portfolio of Forest & Environment Minister. He later joined the Indian National Congress and retained the seat in the 2007 Assembly elections. Singh was then made Manipur's Minister of Irrigation & Flood Control and Youth Affairs & Sports and Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution (CAF&PD).

However, in September 2016, he resigned from the Manipur Legislative Assembly after revolting against Okram Ibobi Singh, the then chief minister of the state. Singh joined the BJP in October 2016. In 2017, he contested Assembly elections from the Heingang seat and won, retaining the seat for the fourth consecutive term. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Manipur on 15 March 2017, becoming the first-ever BJP leader to become CM in the state.

Tripura: Manik Saha

A dentist by profession, Saha took oath as the 11th Chief Minister of Tripura on 15 May 2022, a day after his predecessor Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from the position. Saha was born to Makhan Lal Saha and Priya Bala Saha on 8 January 1953. He received his B.D.S. and M.D.S. degrees from Govt. Dental College, Patna and King Georges' Medical College, Lucknow. Saha joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2016. Before BJP, he was a member of the Congress party. In 2020, he was appointed as the president of the Tripura BJP unit. In March 2022, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha.

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