The MLA without money, a house and car
Contd from previous issue
Being an honest activist in a State like Manipur comes with a price. With little or no financial support, the plethora of urgent issues and the day to day expenses that keeps mounting up he was forced to sell his plot in Senapati in order to meet the entire lacunae.
Unassuming as he is he declined when asked to continue as the president ANSAM contending that he had been given his fair share of opportunity. Likewise he gave ATSUM the snub. He had made up his mind of foraying into the uncharted territory of electoral politics and wanted to concentrate his undivided attention on that trajectory.
In the year 2015 he unsuccessfully contested the ADC election from 19-Lakhamai District Council Constituency. Undeterred by the setback he reinvented himself and braced up for the bigger challenge that lay ahead. Endowed with the humdinger’s heart he decided to throw his hat into the electoral ring of 2022.
His path was not rosy with a tentative and worried family members all for their penury and the bitter lesson learned from 2015 ADC election they urged him to think twice. With unflinching firmness he allayed their apprehensions and requested them to have faith in God and him. Finally they relented.
But the biggest hurdle was just starting to reared its ugly head, the ghost of the previous ADC election coming back to haunt and hound him. There were two candidates from the same village where he was one. This gave rise to chasm and bitterness. And the wound simply refuses to heal but festered. Owning moral responsibility he undertook a door-to-door apology tour and profusely asked the forgiveness of the villagers. For all his humility the hatchet was finally buried and the reconciliation became his sheet anchor.
This was the biggest challenge I encountered he confided.
Once the hurdle was cleared people came out in droves and generously donated in cash and kinds for his electioneering cause. Seventeen Churches led by the womenfolk of the area invoked divine blessings and incessantly prayed for him. His better-half and family members became his constant buttress and comfort. And lo! The poor man is now superfluous, thanks to the blessing and unstinting support of the people. If people are with you nothing is impossible was his catchword.
For a man who had only Rs. 700 in his three bank accounts put altogether, kicking off his electoral campaign either on foot or auto rickshaws for want of cars or vehicles and not having a house of his own to open his election office and winning the election against all odds but for peoples support is a story that definitely captures one’s imagination. “I was elected poor and will leave the same” was his parting shot. These words shook me to the core and keep reverberating.