Rights activist turned politician Irom Sharmila Chanu, who caste her vote after 24 years in the first phase of the Manipur assembly election in Khurai constituency on Saturday, said she voted for the CPI.
Sharmila exercised her franchise at her ancestral place, Kongpal Kongkham Leikai. The Khurai constituency witnessed a three-cornered fight between sitting Congress MLA Ng Bijoy Singh, BJP's L Susindro Meitei and CPI's RK Amusana.
I cast my vote for the CPI candidate as a goodwill gesture to the Left Democratic Front Manipur, which supported me for contesting from ThoubalIrom Sharmila
The Iron Lady, who ended her 16-year fast last August against the controversial Armed Forces (Speical Powers) Act and formed a political party People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) will be taking on three-time chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and the BJP's L Bashanta Singh from Thoubal on 8 March in the second phase of polls.
The poll front comprising six parties, the CPI, CPI (M), JD(U), AAP, Manipur National Democratic Front and NCP has fielded 52 candidates and its primary target is to defeat the Congress and the BJP. “It is only natural that I will help those who have helped me. I got strength to take on the chief minister from the front,” Sharmila was quoted by Times of India.
She also expressed her hope that all the candidates of PRJA would win.
Meanwhile, Erendro Leichombam of PRJA was assaulted by locals at Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai while he, along with his supporters, was conducting a poll survey for PRJA around 11am. He was rushed to RIMS hospital. A complaint has been lodged with the police and ECI.
Najima Bibi, the first Muslim woman candidate of the state to contest an assembly election, is fighting from the Wabagai seat that will see six candidates, including sitting Congress MLA Fajur Rahim, battling it out. Wababai, which has a large Muslim population, will go to the polls in the second phase.