With Manipur going to the poll later this week, all eyes are on Thoubal Assembly constituency where activist-turned-politician Irom Sharmila is taking on three-time Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh.
Election will be held in the constituency on 8 March in the second of the two-phase poll. Thoubal, one of the 10 constituencies in Thoubal district, having an electorate of 27,728, has been a Congress bastion and is the backyard of Ibobi Singh, a two-time MLA from the seat since 2007.
Apart from the candidates of Trinamul, BJP and an independent, the constituency will also witness Irom Sharmila debuting in electoral politics as a candidate of her newly formed party Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA).
Irom Sharmila is facing a severe cash crunch, so much so she has to do her campaigning on a cycle.
I campaign on my cycle. I don’t believe in publishing posters and hand bills. Your work, your movement for the people will speak for you. I think less than Rs 1,00,000 is enough for a candidate to fight elections, given they follow my style of campaignIrom Sharmila
The irony is that neither the Congress nor the BJP is taking Irom and her party “seriously” in the polls. “In Thoubal, the fight is not about whether Ibobi Singh wins or loses, the fight is to increase the 2012 margin,” a district Congress leader asserted.
Irom Sharmila Chanu on Monday refused to accept the ‘security escort’ provided to her by the state authorities under the direction of the Election Commission of India.
Sharmila said that she has no enmity with anyone and has “nothing to fear about”. The former iconic human rights figure said she does not approve of the “VIP culture” of being surrounded by armed forces and wants to be with the people