Irom Sharmila retires hurt

Irom Sharmila retires hurt

Anti-AFSPA icon Irom Sharmila on Saturday retired hurt from politics after she bit the dust in her first electoral battle, getting only 90 votes.

That is less than what NOTA or None of the Above polled.

Sharmila (44), who contested as Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRAJA) candidate, lost to Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh in Thoubal, ending a distant fourth.
Her election performance showed that people had not taken kindly to her decision in August to end her 16-year-old fast against the “draconian” Armed Forces Special Powers Act. She was 28-year-old when she started her fast against the massacre of 10 people in Imphal, demanding repeal of AFSPA. “I am fed up with the political system. I have decided to quit active politics. I will move to South India as I need to calm my mind. I will continue my fight against AFSPA until and unless it is repealed. But I will fight as a social activist,” she was quoted as saying.

Last August she had said she wanted to become the chief minister of the state where there was “no democracy”, and cleanse the system.

If Sharmila could not garner even 143 votes, which were polled under the NOTA category, other PRAJA candidates also did not fare well.

Najima Bibi, the first Muslim women candidate in Manipur, ended up with just 33 votes.
Sharmila had a formidable opponent in the chief minister, who was facing trouble towards the end of his nearly 15-year-old rule in the state.

Singh won garnering 18,649 votes while his main opponent BJP’s L Basanta Singh got only 8,179. Trinamool Congress candidate L S Singh got 144 and an independent A Manglemjao Singh polled 66.

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