Loneliness of Irom Sharmila: Peace activist spends a quiet birthday in Kerala

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Bengaluru, March 15: Away from her home in Manipur, peace activist Irom Sharmila had a 'lonely' 45th birthday in Kerala on Tuesday. Irom left Manipur and reached Kerala on her birthday to spend some quiet time away from the hustle bustle of politics after she lost her maiden election recently.

It was a shocking defeat for Irom, as she got just 90 votes in the Manipur Assembly elections, the results of which were announced on Saturday. Irom contested the polls from Toubal constituency against former chief minister Okram Obobi Singh.

Irom Sharmila

Reports say Irom, who was on a hunger strike for 16 years against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act till last year, will spend a month in Attapadi, a tribal hamlet, near to Palakkad.

Irom's election defeat is being cited as an expression of 'anger' of Manipuri people against her decision to quit her fasting. "I am here in Kerala, just for a break. I am very pleased with your warm greetings," Irom said, while speaking to IANS.

After breaking her fast last year, Irom formed her political party--the Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance. The PRJA fought elections from three constituencies in the 60-member Manipur Assembly. The party failed to win a single seat.

After her 'humiliating' defeat, Irom decided to quit active politics. She vowed not to contest polls again. The peace activist had earlier alleged that political parties used money and muscle power to win elections. Now, the Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to form its government for the first time in Manipur.

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