Imphal: Former chairman of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), RK Sanaiyaima, is at loggerheads with his daughter-in-law Th Brinda over her decision to plunge into electoral politics and join the upcoming fray from the Yaiskul Assembly constituency.

Days after his daughter-in-law had made a formal announcement, the former separatist leader made his stance very clear. “I did not expect her to join this politics. Now, she has joined, but I don’t support electoral politics and my political stance has always been clear,” Sanaiyaima told EastMojo.

Sanayaima said that he does not believe in the “Indian multi-party system”, which divides the hills and plains.

“With the Autonomous District Council for the hills and the Panchayati Raj for the valley, the Indian Constitution does not allow us to have an interdependent co-existence,” he added.

He further said that the stance of the UNLF has always been clear and the democratic call for holding of a plebiscite is to bring about a real democracy.

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However, super cop Thounaojam Brinda, who shot to fame after busting a series of drug cartels during her stint as Additional Superintendent of Police (Narcotics), denied any conflict or differences with her father-in-law. When questioned by a local TV channel about differences of opinion with her father-in-law, Brinda replied, “It’s a simple philosophy, everyone has the right to self-determination. My father-in-law has the same right to decide his present and future, he has his political stance and I respect that.”

“I also have the same right to decide my present and future. There is no conflict but it’s mutual respect and not a difference,” she said.

When asked about her ideological inclination in another interview with a local cable TV channel, Brinda admitted she leaned towards the Left ideology. However, the Left political parties are not in a conducive situation to win the elections at present, she said.

Claiming that she has been offered tickets by national parties, she said she would consult with her supporters and electorate to make the decision. “I will go to the party which the public decides for me,” she stated.

Brinda reasoned her decision to join politics as triggered by repeated victimization by political entities. She blamed Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh for not letting her fight the “War against Drugs” initiative fairly.

Stating that she can no longer fight as a mere officer, she told EastMojo, “I decided to fight election to become a lawmaker and fight for a better Manipur, to correct the system to my best possible extent, and to make a difference.”

Brinda’s decision, however, has received both bouquets and brickbats on social media. While many have welcomed her decision and pray for her win, others rebuffed her and said she would meet Irom sharmila’s fate.

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Brinda was also trolled by journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem, saying that she will be joining the BJP-fold and he will not support her any longer. Kishorchandra has been sent to jail four times by the BJP-led government on frivolous charges over his Facebook posts.

As per a reliable source, Brinda is on the list of BJP’s probable candidates for Yaiskul assembly constituency even if an incumbent BJP minister is there. However, there is neither official confirmation nor denial either from the BJP or from Brinda. On her part, Brida is holding her cards close to her chest and is not revealing which party she will join.

A political observer and former UNLF member, on condition of anonymity, told EastMojo that this was a “stratagem devised by Indian intelligence agencies with a clear objective of killing two birds with one stone”.

“It is an excellent stratagem by agencies to discredit the former chairman and derail the struggle for independence,” he said.

Brinda kicked off her political journey with a tussle with police last Sunday. Holding the Indian tri-colour flag, she tried to carry out a bike rally and a fund drive. However, the Manipur Police did not allow her planned rally on the grounds of prevailing law and order situation, VIP visits and Covid protocol, as per the statement of Imphal East police superintendent Herojit’s clarification to the media.

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