Manipur Election 2017: On last day of campaigning, Irom Sharmila goes door-to-door in Thoubal

On the last day of campaigning for the second phase of Manipur polls, anti-AFSPA activist Irom Sharmila went door-to-door seeking votes in Thoubal Assembly constituency.

Sharmila, contesting the election as a candidate of her People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA), is taking on Congress nominee Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and BJP nominee Th Jadumani in Thoubal Assembly constituency.

Irom Sharmila. Reuters

Irom Sharmila. Reuters

Sharmila formed the party to continue her struggle against Afspa after ending her 16-year long fast in 2016. The second phase of polls in Manipur will be held on 8 March.Sharmila began her campaign in the constituency by meeting people in marketplaces and homes.

The party is fielding five candidates including two women. Sharmila will contest against chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh in Thoubal, Erendro in Thangmeibandh, rights activist Najima Bibi in Wabagai constituency in Thoubal district, Bowang Kho, a former student leader, in Karong constituency of the Naga-dominated district of Senapati, and Md Ilyash, a municipal councillor, in Lilong constituency in Thoubal district.

The party's poll plank is based on three pillars - incorruptibility, people's voice and hope for change. The party's campaign style is different from the conventional big rallies, fanfare and flags. It's a door-to-door campaign, where party members visit houses and spend 10-15 minutes talking to available family members about Manipur's issues, the family's problems and the party's objectives.

Unlike other parties, which distribute cash during election campaigns, Sharmila's team seeks donations from the people. Help has also come from the Manipuri diaspora and people from other parts of the country. For instance, Bollywood actress Renuka Shahane has donated Rs 50,000 to the PRJA fund. Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had donated Rs 50,000 to Sharmila’s party PRJA.

She said that she was confident of winning against Manipur chief minister in the election. To those who said that she does not have a chance against Ibobi Singh, Sharmila said, "He (Ibobi Singh) has been the symbol of looting for 15 years. I have been the symbol of justice for 15 years. I am only asking you to choose between the two symbols."


Published Date: Mar 06, 2017 09:42 pm | Updated Date: Mar 06, 2017 11:04 pm

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