Imphal: Sapam Nishikant Singh, an established businessman-turned-politician, is all set to contest the upcoming 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election as an independent candidate with a vision and mission “to work purely for the welfare of the people”, especially his constituency in Imphal West district.
Nishikant, the publisher of Sangai Express newspaper, had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019 in the presence of former union finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi. He was one of the aspirants of a BJP ticket of Keishamthong AC, which was eventually bagged by Elangbam Johnson.
Speaking to EastMojo, Nishikant said for him politics is not about business but a service to the people and “this is a 100 per cent sacrifice”.
“There must be true politics. I am sick and tired of watching politickers. I have no intention of earning; this is my complete sacrifice. I will not take salary as an MLA but I will contribute towards the local development fund,” said Nishikant, who, according to his poll affidavit, is the richest man in the fray in the first phase of the polls.
With assets worth over Rs 23.59 crore, Nishikant Sapam is the wealthiest among the 173 candidates in the fray for the first phase of polls in Manipur.
“I have been talking about honesty and, after the nomination papers were filed, I happened to be the richest man among the candidates, which is actually a joke. Because I filed my income tax properly and all my assets are on paper, so that’s why I am richer than the rest. Otherwise if you actually dig in more, I would be probably the poorest guy,” said the 57-year-old businessman-turned-politician.
Nishikant, who is also known for his philanthropic work, especially in his constituency, reiterated that the electoral process in Manipur is all about money and muscle power.
“Manipur politics is extremely expensive. People can’t even imagine how it is. So if I tried to get back my money, that is corruption,” he said.
According to him, whatever he will spend during the election will be “a gift to Manipur”.
“Because that is the price I paid to serve the people of Manipur. If I tried to get back, I am going to be corrupt and go down to the same system,” he firmly stated.
For the Keishamthong AC seat, five candidates, including sitting MLA L Jayanta Kumar Singh of the National People’s Party, are in the fray. The state is going to the polls on February 28 and March 5.
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