Irom Sharmila and her team at the launch in Imphal.
Imphal: Rights crusader-turned-politician Irom Sharmila’s party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) on Friday launched a “crowd-funding” drive to collect funds from the people to contest Assembly elections.
After ending her nearly 16-year hunger strike, demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, in August, Sharmila formed her party with some of her youth supporters to take on the ruling Congress.
The party launched the drive to involve people in its fight against “injustice” by contributing to “fighting for a change”.
Party convener Erendro Leichonbam, said the drive was launched in collaboration with a Mumbai-based crowd fundraiser company Ketto to collect funds online from people around the world who believe in Sharmila’s cause and the fight for peace.
Though Sharmila ended her fast, she had announced that she would continue to fight against the armed forces act politically.
“Our motto is money of the people, by the people and for the people. So we are seeking election funds from the people to keep election funding transparent and accountable. By doing this, we also aim at preventing big companies and wealthy people from trying to influence us,” he said.
Sharmila said her party was seeking public funds to end the trend of politicians giving money to voters to buy their votes so that they could continue corruption.
“The crowd fund is also aimed at ending muscle and money power as part of the fight against corruption. Our aim is to change the system for a better Manipur where there is no violence and where there is justice and no corruption,” Sharmila said.
Before launching the drive, Sharmila’s group collected Rs 10 each from people under a programme, Ten4Change.
Sharmila will contest the elections from Thoubal against chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and her home constituency Khurai in Imphal East against Congress MLA Ng. Bijoy Singh.
So far, the party has confirmed five candidates, including another woman candidate.
The party also launched its website, prja.in.