A political debut that saw a nail-biting contest has brought media baron Kartikeya Sharma into the limelight again as he defeated Congress veteran Ajay Maken to be elected straight to the Rajya Sabha from Haryana.
Kartikeya Sharma was backed by the ruling alliance partners in Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party (BJP-JJP) combine.
A businessman and a media proprietor by profession, 41-year-old Sharma did his B.Sc. (Honours) in Business Management from Oxford University and his Masters in Business Administration from King’s College, London.
Kartikeya Sharma set up the iTV network in 2007 which operates various English and Hindi news channels and vernacular dailies. iTV network’s national channel NewsX, and regional channels such as India News Haryana, India News Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, India News Punjab and India News Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, dominate the Hindi-speaking areas.
He also has stakes in several five-star hotels in Gurugram, Delhi, Chandigarh and Punjab.
Kartikeya is married to Aishwarya Sharma who the daughter of former Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldeep Sharma.
According to his election affidavit, he owns assets worth Rs. 390.63 crore. This includes Rs 14.60 crore in Piccadily Hotels Private Limited, Rs 35.04 lakh in Soon-N-Sure Holdings Limited, and Rs 367.65 crore in Mark Buildtech Private Limited.
Speaking to reporters after the results were announced, Kartikeya Sharma thanked Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and BJP-JJP leaders for support. He also expressed his gratitude to Congress rebel Kuldeep Bishnoi whose vote tilted the contest in his favour. “I’ve entered politics just 10 days back, but have experience in the field of education, sports and youth affairs, and I’ll work on these to raise the voice of Haryana in the Upper House of Parliament,” he said.
BJP’s Haryana chief OP Dhankar thanked BJP-JJP MLAs, Independent legislators, and Kuldeep Bishnoi for backing Sharma in the Rajya Sabha election. In a video message shared on social media, Dhankar said Bishnoi had heeded to his inner voice and voted for Kartikeya Sharma.