Manipur elections 2017: Harvard educated, US return Erendro Leichombam is making Imphal think twice before it votes

A former fellow at World Bank and former consultant at UNDP, Erendro Leichombam spent the last 10 years of his life in the US before coming back to Manipur

Name – Erendro Leichombam, Age – 33 years, Native – Imphal, Manipur, Qualification – a graduate of Harvard University.

A former fellow at the World Bank and a former consultant at UNDP, Erendro Leichombam spent the last 10 years of his life in the United States of America. He is now back in India talking to Manipuri youths in cafes, explaining his way of looking at politics and governance.

Erendro is the convener of the Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA), a political party he co-founded with Manipur’s Iron lady Irom Sharmila Chanu and a few others. The PRJA has fielded only three candidates, including Irom who is taking on the three-time Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Erendro is contesting the prestigious Thangmeiband constituency in Imphal.

Erendro is up against two very formidable candidates – the former MLA from the seat Kh.Joy Kishan Singh and Jyotin Waiham. Both his opponents are turncoat candidates, as one was with BJP and the other was with Congress just until a few months back. Both heavyweights are now contesting the elections from opposite camps.

It was just four years ago that Erendro came back to Imphal and ran an advocacy group – Manipur international Centre.

Currently, Manipur has a population of 28 lakh, of which 10 lakh are youth. The state is facing acute youth unemployment, with 8 lakh youth unemployed in the state. It is for these people that Erendro speaks in his poll campaign by blowing the whistle, PRJA’s poll symbol. Erendro wants to create more whistle blowers.

Whether PRJA candidates win or lose is yet to be seen, but what can be confidently said is that they have made their mark in the mind of the voters in Manipur.