Congress moves EC, seeks probe into Irom Sharmila’s allegations

New Delhi, (IANS): The Congress on Wednesday moved the Election Commission demanding a probe into allegations by civil rights activist Irom Sharmila that she was approached by a BJP functionary with offer of money to contest the Manipur assembly poll as a party nominee.

In a complaint to the poll panel, Secretary of the Legal and Human Rights Department of the Congress K.C. Mittal said the allegations made by Sharmila were “grave” and “very serious”.

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Mittal said Sharmila had told the media that she was “really selected” as BJP candidate and “a condition requiring Rs 36 crore” was put to her, with the sum being either produced by her or “arranged from the Centre”.

The Congress complaint said Sharmila had told the media that she had turned down the suggestion. It also said that BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav had termed Sharmila’s allegations as “baseless” and “an absolute lie” but Sharmila had subsequently reiterated her remarks.

“It is requested that an independent investigation may be conducted by the commission by a high level team,” the Congress said in its complaint.

The party said the probe team should collect all relevant material and “prosecute persons found responsible for such offer of bribe for electoral purposes”. It also called for other appropriate action.

Sharmila, who fasted for 16 years to demand the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), had announced in January that she will take on Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in the assembly polls.

Manipur will go for two-phased assembly polls in March.