Human rights activists Irom Sharmila will contest as the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance candidate during the Manipur Assembly elections, PTI reported. Party member Erendro Leichonbam said she will contest from Thoubal, which is Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s constituency. The Congress has been in power in the state for three successive terms.

Known as the Iron Lady, the 44-year-old had earlier said she would contest from Thoubal and Khurai, the news agency reported. Leichonbam said the party would announce the names of 10 more candidates soon.

On February 3, the Congress had released a list of 60 candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. The Congress has been in power for three successive terms in the state. Nagaland’s ruling party, Naga People’s party, has said 15 of its candidates will contest the Manipur Assembly elections.

In October, the activist had announced the formation of her political outfit after ending her 16-year-old hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in August. She had been arrested, released and rearrested on attempted suicide charges after she began fasting for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, from the state in November 2000. The Act is enforced to bring under control areas that the government considered “disturbed”.

Polls for the state’s 69 Assembly seats will be held in two phases on March 4 and March 8. The Home Minister on January 31 had sought the Election Commission’s intervention to resolve the ongoing blockade and the resultant economic crisis in the state.