Manipur elections 2017: ‘Iron lady’ Irom Sharmila confident of victory


New Delhi, Mar 4 : Irom Sharmila who cast her vote today at the Khurai Constituency said that she is confident her party will win the elections.
Irom Sharmila, Manipur’s icon launched her party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance last year in October after breaking her 16 years’ long fast. Sharmila, breaking her fast in October last year had said that she will continue her fight for the people of Manipur and she is only changing her strategy. Sharmila has been advocating against AFSPA, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts which grants the Centre government special powers to the Indian Armed Forces.
The government had implemented AFSPA in Manipur claiming that it is required to put a halt on the problems created by Militants in the state. However, Irom Sharmila’s party claims that that AFSPA is not the “medicine for militancy” and it is there to just “extract resources” from Manipur.
The locals in Manipur accuse Indian Army of misusing its powers in the name of protecting the interest of the locals.
Being on fast for 16 years however, did not break Irom Sharmila, physically or mentally and this was evident when the woman rode for 20 km from Imphal on her bicycle to file her nomination papers.
The fight so far has not been easy on Sharmila, last month, she had claimed that she was approached by the Bhartiya Janata Party to contest assembly elections against long time CM Okram Ibobi Singh on a party ticket, an offer she declined. She had also claimed that BJP had told her that it will cost her Rs 36 crore to fight against Singh.
Manipur went for elections today and has recorded an 80% turnout. The next phase of elections would be on 8th of March. Congress had long reigned in Manipur. It remains to be seen if Manipur’s support for Irom Sharmila will materialise in these elections.
Source: The Financial Express


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