Irom Sharmila takes political path; Will contest polls

RSTV Bureau

irom_sharmilaProminent Human Rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu, known for her 16-long year fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, or AFSPA as is popularly termed, has formed a political party. The Manipur-based activist had ended her fast this year August with a vow to continue her campaign demanding the repealing of AFSPA.

Sharmila also announced that she will take on the sitting Chief Minister of Manipur Ikram Ibobi Singh from his Thoubal assembly constituency. The assembly polls are due in the north-eastern state next year.

Senior Congress leader Ikram Ibobi Singh, a strongman in Manipur politics, is into his third term as the CM of state.

Announcing the name of her party “People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance” at the Johnstone Higher Secondary School in Imphal, Irom said she wanted to tell the masses that she had the “guts” to challenge the chief minister himself in his own turf.

Imphal: Irom Sharmila being brought to the court in Imphal on August 9, 2016 before sheended her fast after nearly 16 years demanding repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Photo - PTI

FILE: Imphal: File photo of Irom Sharmila being brought to the court in Imphal on August 9, 2016 before sheended her fast after nearly 16 years demanding repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Photo – PTI

Later in the day, at the Manipur Press Club, she said she would contest the election from Thoubal and also from Khurai Assembly constituencies.

On the day she had broken her fast this year August, she had let known her desire to form a political party to contest the Assembly election. Interacting with the media, the 44-year-old activist also sought the blessings of the people in her endeavour to enter active politics.

Earlier, she had met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and expressed her desire to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take their advice on how to devise a strategy to contest the Assembly poll.

Sharmila had earlier said her sole agenda to contest the elections was to have the AFSPA repealed from Manipur.

(With inputs from the PTI)