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1-min read

Himachal Power Minister Resigns Under Pressure After Father Sukh Ram, Son Join Congress

The BJP leadership in the state had been mounting pressure on Anil Sharma to open his cards, accusing him of ‘sailing in two boats’. On every public platform where the party leaders were present, they said that Sharma’s resignation was awaited.

Ramlal Kondal | News18

Updated:April 12, 2019, 4:00 PM IST
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Himachal Power Minister Resigns Under Pressure After Father Sukh Ram, Son Join Congress
File photo of Anil Sharma.
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Shimla/Chandigarh: Himachal Power Minister Anil Sharma on Friday tendered his resignation, after succumbing to pressure from CM Jai Ram Thakur and BJP, since his father Sukh Ram and son were given the Congress ticket.

His son Aashraya Sharma, who was led into the Congress fold by his grandfather Pundit Sukh Ram, is fielded from Mandi Lok Sabha constituency.

Ever since, Anil Sharma had maintained that he won’t be campaigning against his son, but had kept silent on if he would be canvassing for the BJP. When asked about his situation, Sharma had said that he chooses to continue his tenure as a minister. “This is a dharamsankat for me,” he said.

The BJP leadership in the state had been mounting pressure on him to open his cards, accusing him of ‘sailing in two boats’. On every public platform where the party leaders were present, they said that Sharma’s resignation was awaited.

CM Thakur even held a public gathering at Sharma’s home turf Saigaloo in Mandi on Thursday, where he accused him of betraying the BJP.

The two leaders have been embroiled in a war of words ever since. Sharma took offence to Thakur labelling him and his father as ‘Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’ and accused him and the BJP of using his family for political gains in 2017 assembly elections and then ‘discarding’ them.

Thakur hit back to this and questioned Sharma on why he joined the party ‘in the middle of the night’. Thakur also attacked Sukh Ram and said that he should’ve thought about the careers of his son and grandson before taking the plunge.

Notably, Mandi district, encompassing 10 assembly segments, has emerged as a new power center in Himachal after the BJP won 9 seats here in 2017 assembly polls as the Congress drew a blank. Besides, Thakur himself comes from the district.

However, Sukh Ram and Anil Sharma wield considerable influence here.Ram and Sharma had joined BJP after leaving the Congress just ahead of the 2017 assembly polls.

With Aashraya pitched against BJP’s incumbent Ram Swaroop Sharma, the stakes are high in Mandi, especially for Chief Minister Thakur.
| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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