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A national-level football player-turned politician, Nongthombam Biren Singh has scored a winning goal to occupy the chief minister's chair a year after revolting against the Ibobi Singh-led Congress government. A four-time MLA from Heingang Assembly constituency, 56-year-old Biren Singh joined the BJP in 2016. Formerly a minister in the Ibobi Singh-led government, Biren had resigned from the Manipur Assembly and Pradesh Congress Committee in 2016 after revolting against Ibobi Singh. He then joined the BJP and contested on its ticket from the Heingang Assembly cosntituency.
He was made the spokesperson and co-convener of the Election Management Committee of state BJP.Singh was elected to the state Legislative Assembly for the first time in 2002 from Heingang constituency as a Democratic Revolutionary People's Party candidate. He later joined the Congress in 2003 and was appointed Minister of State for Vigilance in the Ibobi Singh ministry. He was re-elected from the same constituency in 2007 and was appointed as Minister of Irrigation and Flood Control, Youth Affairs and Sports. In 2012, he retained his Assembly seat for the third consecutive term but his relationship with Ibobi Singh soured after he was excluded from the cabinet.