Irom Sharmila is also taking the help of social media to spread her message.
Irom Sharmila, civil rights activist
After concluding her 16-year-long fast on a hospital bed, anti-war and civil rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu is on a new mission for clean and transparent politics in Manipur.
After forming a new political platform — People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) in October — she decided to challenge chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh in Thoubal constituency, held by him since 2006.
“Volunteers have been told to explain to voters that my fight is not just for a change in regime but also for a complete transformation in the way elections are fought in Manipur,” Ms Sharmila said.
She said her campaign would be crowdfunded. “We need public funding to bring positive change and for this, crowdfunding is the basic need to fulfil our goal,” she said.
Ms Sharmila, who launched her campaign on a bicycle, has started door-to-door visits asking people to give her a chance to fight for removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.
This law empowers security forces to kill people without taking warrants. “My aim is to remove the Act and bring about true democracy through the political process,” Ms Sharmila said.
She is also taking the help of social media to spread her message. The convener of her party, Erendro Leichombam, said, “Many aspiring candidates have approached us for a ticket. We have so far finalised five names. The remaining will be confirmed soon.”