After coming into the limelight across the globe for fasting for nearly 16 years demanding removal of the draconian law Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 from the soil of Manipur, Sharmila ended her hunger strike on August 11. Since then, she has been working to set up a political party and fight the State Assembly election.
In a special interview conducted by Impact TV as part of a programme ‘Aspiring Candidate’, Sharmila declared that she would launch her new political party on October 18 as it is an important day in the history of Manipur.
“It was on this day in 1948 that the first session of the democratically elected Manipur Legislative Assembly was held before Manipur was merged into the Indian Union,” she added. To mark this day, a new political party will be set up which would fight for the rights of the people of Manipur.
When asked about the primary agendas of her new political party, Sharmila said, the people of Manipur have been suffering long due to human rights violation and years of suppression because of AFSPA. The new political party will centre on the repeal of AFSPA from the soil of Manipur. When the rights of people are restored, all other issues including that of Inner Line Permit System and others will follow.
She stated that her new political party will fight for ‘right to justice for all’. The new party will not confine its activities here in Manipur alone but would also work to grab a seat in the Lok Sabha, she added.
Sharmila also added that she has no plan to join any other National political party though some parties approached her. She said her aspiration to join politics is to bring a paradigm shift from the conventional agendas of National parties like the Congress or BJP.
“People should give more emphasis on the issues and problems faced here rather than take undue interest on issues which rarely affect us,” she said.
When asked of the people’s mixed reaction on her decision to join politics, she said that everyone has equal rights to profess one’s desire. The judgment to join politics after suspending the hunger strike was her own personal decision, she added.
Many people are supporting her decision to launch a new political party and contest in the upcoming election. People with political background and many youth are supporting her decision and people are ready to extend financial support, she said.
The new political party will fight for justice for all the people and it would struggle to bring a political change through non-violent means. She also urged the people to extend their support and work collectively to restore democracy in the State.
Interestingly Sharmila said she will fight the election in Khurai and Thoubal Assembly Constituencies.
Source: The Sangai Express