In what may bring embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Manipur Assembly polls, social activist Irom Sharmila has revealed that she was offered Rs. 36 crore to contest the elections on the saffron party's ticket.
"Just after my fast, I met a BJP leader who suggested that I will need lots of money depending on current system of politics. He said I will need on an average Rs. 36 crore for fighting the election, if I have that amount I need to produce it, if not the Centre will give it," she told reporters.
However, BJP leader Ram Madhav has rubbished Sharmila's claims.
"Absolute lie. Our entire election campaign in MANIPUR doesn't cost that much. She should find respectable ways of fighting elections," he tweeted earlier.
Sharmila, who ended her 16-year-long fast demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on 9 August last year, formed the People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA).
Sharmila may contest from two constituencies - Thoubal and Khurai. While Khurai is her home constituency, Thoubal is the constituency of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
Manipur will vote for 60 assembly constituencies which is to be held in two phases on 4 and 8 March. The counting of votes will take place on 11 March.