Facing a massive electoral jolt soon after her debut, Manipur's "Iron Lady" Irom Sharmila on Saturday said she had decided to quit politics. Her decision comes seven months after she announced her entry into politics after ending her 16 year long hungerstrike against AFSPA in August last year.
"I want to quit…," she said adding that she felt let down. Her party the Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) has failed to win a single seat in the 60 member Manipur assembly election.
"Right now I want to take a break for a month in an ashram for self realisation and solitary enlightenment," the iconic anti-AFSPA crusder said adding that she does not regret joining politics.
Sharmila said that her party PRJA should continue working for change in the state.
"I want PRJA party to survive because the youth in society are so impressed by it. We need to have a strong original party with inclusive participation of both hill and valley and which is based on ideology rather than money and muscle power," she said.
In the elections, while all three PRJA candidates have lost, what has come as a surprise is the absolute indifference shown by the electorate to Sharmila. While Najima Bibi, PRJA's candidate from Wabagai secured just 33 votes, Sharmila got only 90 votes in Thoubal.
But even as she is plans her sabbatical for the time being, she says she will continue to lobby for the repeal of AFSPA from Manipur.