‘Iron Lady’ Irom Sharmila ends 16-year-fast, says want to be Manipur CM

Imphal, Aug 9 : Rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, who today ended her 16-year-fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), expressed desire to serve the people of Manipur as the Chief Minister.

Addressing the media here after breaking her hunger strike, Sharmila said that she has been called the 'Iron Lady' of Manipur and would want to live up to that image.

"From today onwards, I have ended my fast. I want to join politics as I've been called the Iron lady of Manipur and I want to live up to that name," she said.

Talking about threats from radical groups over her decision to join politics, she said, "I don't understand why some radical groups are against my joining politics." Earlier today, she went to the District and Sessions court first to inform about her decision which released her from judicial custody.

Sharmila was arrested and released several times under Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

However, she rejected the allegations that she ever tried to commit suicide, saying she was on a hunger strike demanding AFSPA withdrawal.

On July 26, Sharmila had announced that she had planned to end her 16-year-fast and contest the assembly elections as an independent candidate.

Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had reportedly offered her to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections under its banner from the inner Manipur seat which she rejected.

With the activist set to step foot in the realm of politics, both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have thrown their doors open for her, saying she is welcome to join them.

Source: ANI