Irom Sharmila Chanu’s preparation to contest Manipur elections seems to be on the right track. The popular human rights activist on Monday sought an audience with Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party Chief Convenor Arvind Kejriwal, in an effort to know the strategies the AAP chief used so effectively in order to defeat the political bigwigs like Congress and BJP in their own backyard.
Keen to emulate Kejriwal
The Iron Lady of Manipur wanted to know about Kejriwal’s strategy in the Delhi assembly polls and how AAP managed to counter the Congress and the BJP. The party sources however were quick to rule out Sharmila joining the party or becoming the face of the party in Manipur. It is to be noted that the Manipur elections coincides with those in Punjab and Goa, and AAP will be focusing on those states.
‘The decision not to contest Manipur was taken long ago and with barely six months to go, there is no way the party can now suddenly rethink its decision. The support will effectively mean helping Sharmila’s party strategise and advising her on the use of social media and campaign management. Kejriwal has great regard for Sharmila and her crusade.’ said a party source.
The Road Ahead for Irom Sharmila
On August 9, the 44-year-old ‘Iron Lady’ broke her 16-year-old hunger strike, the world’s longest such campaign, and declared her intentions of joining politics. Sharmila already has announced the formation of a new regional party to take on CM Okram Ibobi Singh. Apparently the Iron Lady has her eyes set on the chief ministerial position. She wants to be the CM of Manipur so that she could press for repeal of the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
After she ended her fast, informal talks were doing rounds of her joining the AAP. All those were quashed when she decided to take on the Manipur CM on her own without any alliances. Will she be able to make a difference in the political scenario in Manipur?. Only time will tell.