GUWAHATI: Manipur’s iconic activist Irom Sharmila last month said she would get married after the elections. It seems her boyfriend Desmond Coutinho has now developed cold feet.
“Whatever the result of the election, I will not be marrying Irom Sharmila until after the elections in 2019 (Lok Sabha). She has too much work to do in Manipur,” Desmond said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
The British citizen with Goan roots has been with Sharmila for years.
Desmond said Sharmila had to build up her political party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) with widespread Manipuri representation from all communities living in the State. “We are no teenagers. Two more years is not long to wait,” he said.
“It is not about winning but allowing people the option to take responsibility for their own lives grow up in a democracy. She has forged good alliances with the LDF (Left Democratic Front) both in Manipur and in India. Various leaders from the diverse communities of Manipur have reached out to her. And there is two million rupees in the war chest. There will be work to be done in and for Manipur,” posted Desmond.
Desmond also used unparliamentary language in the post and like in the past, drew ire in Manipur. On Saturday, his criticism was for Sharmila’s vocal supporter, Laba Yambem.
“Friends hear from Desmond Coutinho stating that he will only be marrying Sharmila the MLA and not Sharmila the hunger-striking activist who he was able to lure with his charms,” said Yambem.
“Now I can dare say publicly that should anything untoward happen to Sharmila, the onus should lie on Desmond Coutinho ji alone,” he said.
Yambem said after hearing what Desmond said, if something were to happen to Sharmila then there was a provision in the Indian Penal Code called “guilty for abetment to suicide”.