Ahead of the Manipur Assembly polls, social activist Irom Sharmila has revealed that she was offered Rs 36 crore by the Bharatiya Janata Party to contest the Assembly elections against Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
Sharmila claimed that the offer was made to her after she had ended her hunger strike last year and decided to contest the polls.
Just after my fast, I met a BJP leader who suggested that I will need lots of money depending on current system of politics: Irom Sharmila pic.twitter.com/J71e2EHUiA— ANI (@ANI_news) February 13, 2017
He said I will need in avg 36cr for fighting election, if I have that amount I need to produce it, if not centre will give it: Irom Sharmila pic.twitter.com/lmxtkkQhEs— ANI (@ANI_news) February 13, 2017
Sharmila, however, will fight as an independent candidate, and will be contesting Manipur Assembly elections in March against Ibobi Singh from the Thoubal constituency.
Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav rubbished Sharmila's claims and tweeted:
Absolute lie. Our entire election campaign in MANIPUR doesn't cost that much. She should find respectable ways of fighting elections https://t.co/Yp5q1Vf9Ev— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) February 12, 2017
On Sunday, the BJP threatened to to take her to court for accusing the party of offering her money and sought a clarification from her.
“We’re surprised to hear such an allegation, which is utterly baseless. No one in the BJP offered her any money. It’s a blatant lie. We don’t have Rs 36 crore,” the party’s Manipur unit general secretary Thongam Biswajit told The New Indian Express.
A day after the threat, Sharmila identified a local BJP leader, Surbinoy, as the person who had made the offer. Rejecting her claims, BJP’s Manipur unit president K Bhabananda Singh said that the party doesn’t have any office bearer by that name.