Bengaluru, July 14: Dejected over her defeat in the Manipur Assembly Elections 2017, Irom Sharmila said that she doesn’t want to return to her home state, Manipur. After filing an application to tie the knot with her British partner Desmond Coutinho at the sub registrar’s office in Kodaikanal, the Iron Lady expressed her disappointment with the people of Manipur who didn’t support her in her fight against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) even in the Assembly elections. With this, the eyes have set on Sharmila and if this is the end her fight against AFSPA in Manipur. The biggest blow to the people of Manipur was her move to marry a non-local.
“I fought against the oppressive Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for 16 long years but people rejected me in the polls. That’s why I don’t want to go back to Manipur again. It’s a personal decision which I took after my defeat in the assembly election,” she told TOI. Irom Sharmila lost against the then Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi in the Thoubal assembly constituency. In the Manipur Assembly Elections, Sharmila had managed to win only 90 votes while Ibobi Singh had won with 16,290 votes. Following her defeat, Anti-AFSPA crusader quit politics.
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On August 9, Sharmila ended her epic 16-year-long hunger strike with a dash of honey and jumped into the political battle of Manipur in her quest to get the AFSPA repealed. She had then announced that she would fight the assembly polls with a sole objective to repeal the AFSPA in Manipur. She formed People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) in 2016 and filed her nomination papers to fight the assembly elections. Launching a party before the Manipur Assembly elections and kicking up dust while continuing her fight, the Iron Lady aspired to build a “self-reliant economy for Manipur”. Taking up the role of a whistleblower, she planned to take various cases of corruption in the state.
However, being a political greenhorn, Sharmila lost to Ibobi Singh winning just 90 votes. In fact, the fight was seen as a bit too much of an ambitious move in Sharmila’s part as her party was floated just a few months before the Assembly elections. Not to forget the fact that she chose to fight in Thoubal; a constituency, reins of which have always been in the hands of Okram Ibobi.
Irom Sharmila also said that after marriage, she wants to lead a simple ordinary woman’s life in Kodaikanal. However, she didn’t say if she would continue her fight against AFSPA.