When Irom Sharmila broke her fast earlier this year in August, she made her intentions known of floating a political party to contest in the Assembly elections due next year. She also made public of her wish to become the Chief Minister in order to fight the AFSPA.
Since then, speculations were rife on her political stance. Many speculated that she will join the BJP in order to take on incumbent Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh. Others were of the view she will become the face of AAP in the state. The 44-year old added fuel to the fire when she met AAP Supremo Arvind Kejriwal and sought his advice on how to defeat major political parties in her state. Not only that, she also said that she wants to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his advice on politics.
What is PRAJA?
However the ‘Iron Lady’ today launched her own political party PRAJA putting all speculations to rest. PRAJA stands for Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance. The activist believes the party would be based on the principles of justice, understanding, love and peace. She pledged PRAJA will work for the repeal of AFPSA and take a stand against all acts of violence and militarisation. Also promoting gender justice, economic resilience and self-reliance of the people are on its agenda.
PRAJA has some ambitious plans
Giving a sneak peek into PRAJA’s ambitious plans Sharmila says the party will contest two assembly seats, Thoubal and Khurai, and said she hopes to field at least 20 candidates for Manipur’s 60 seats.
The contest in Thoubal is set to put her face-to-face with her nemesis Ibobi Singh. Thoubal is the assembly constituency of Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress, who has been the state’s chief minister since 2002. And the activist has been a long time critic of the CM.