The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday named Sharda Devi as Chief of its Manipur unit, becoming the first female in the state to be appointed as party president.

“BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda has appointed Smt. Sharda Devi as State President of Manipur BJP. The appointment comes into immediate effect,” party general secretary Arun Singh said in a statement.

Sharda Devi will succeed Saikhom Tikendra Singh, who succumbed to COVID-19 last month.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren Singh felicitated the newly appointed party chief at his office.

Congratulating Sharda Devi, the Chief Minister hoped under her able leadership, the party will be able to achieve greater heights and fulfil the aspirations of the people of Manipur.

“Felicitated our newly appointed BJP Manipur President at my office. The appointment of Smt Sharda Devi Ji as President of @BJP4Manipur has yet again reaffirmed BJP’s commitment on empowering women & acknowledging talent of individuals irrespective of their gender or background,” Singh tweeted.

The new state party chiefs appointment came ahead of the Manipur Assembly elections, which is going to polls next year.