Surjakumar to contest in Khangabok against Jatra
Okram Surjakumar, the only son of chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh is set to contest the upcoming first phase state assembly election slated for March 4 in Khangabok assembly constituency of Thoubal district.
Okram Landhoni, sitting MLA of Khangabok will step down and hand over the political baton to her son. His mother has represented the constituency for two terms.
Surjakumar alias Kenedy, 29, from Thoubal Athokpam Makha Leikai is likely to become the youngest candidate in this round of assembly election.
He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kingston University, London. He is a state-level badminton player and an enthusiastic polo player. He is married and has a son.
In an exclusive interview, Surjakumar told Imphal Free Press that he did not have any political ambition in the past as his father and mother were already in politics, doing as much as they could for the state.
“After finishing my studies in London, I came back to Manipur and started a green campaign under Green Revolution Society (GRS), by planting saplings in many districts throughout the state,” he said.
He further said after witnessing difficulties faced by the underprivileged sections of his constituency, he decided to extend a helping hand to them.
“We helped the flood affected families. Many people are living hand to mouth. My main focus lies on tackling poverty and empowering the youths as much as possible. Hence, this desire prompted me to join electoral politics,” Surjakumar said.
He further said he has visited underdeveloped countries and as a student of economics, studied development models which can be replicated in the state.
Asked whether he is satisfied with his father’s chief ministerial works Surjakumar maintained that senior politicians are well-experienced in many ways.
“Living under the same roof, I know how my father struggles. We have myriad issues including ethnic divides, obstacles in developmental works, maintaining law and order etc. I feel that my father has done as he is required to do,” said Surjakumar.
He further said that state politics will be witnessing a new generation soon.
“I feel that corruption is deep-rooted in our state. We all must endeavour to root it out,” he said.
Kennedy has taken the prescribed application form for Congress ticket from the MPCC office yesterday and will be contesting against Laishram Jatra and former of BJP vice-president, Jadumani.
Source: Imphal Free Press