After ‘humiliating’ defeat, Irom vows not to contest polls; PRAJA to continue its work
Imphal, March 11: It was a defeat that has shocked all of us. The iconic peace activist Irom Sharmila, who contested polls for the first time from Thoubal, Manipur, lost to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. In her maiden election, Sharmila managed to get just 90 votes. The results of the Manipur Assembly elections were declared on Saturday. The elections took place in two phases--on March 4 and March 8.
After the results, an emotional Sharmila, with tears in her eyes, told Indian Express that she was never going to contest elections again in her life. Perhaps, it was not the defeat, but the way Manipur voted against her. Like you, we are also wondering how could a well-known personality like Sharmila, who was on a hunger strike for 16 years to protest against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act, be rejected in such a 'bad' manner by her own people.
But many say Sharmila's defeat was anticipated, but no one thought that she would be humiliated in such a way. Her popularity in the state started eroding the day she decided to end her fast last year. Even her mother refused to let her stay in their house after Sharmila broke her fast and was released by the police.
A large-section of Manipuri did not like her decision to end her hunger strike. After ending her fast last year, Irom formed her political party-- Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance. Her party contested from three constituencies this time. The 44-year-old peace activist-turned-politician, however, wants her political outfit to continue its journey. Sharmila plans to fight against the AFSPA through her political party.