Will resign from HP Cabinet, says Anil after father returns to Cong

Will resign from HP Cabinet, says Anil after father returns to Cong
Congress president Rahul Gandhi with former Union minister Sukh Ram in New Delhi. (File)
New Delhi/Shimla, Mar 25 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/25/2019 12:09:47 PM IST

Himachal Pradesh’s Power Minister Anil Sharma said on Monday that he would resign from his position on “moral grounds” hours after his father Sukh Ram returned to the Congress, taking his grandson Ashray Sharma with him. Power Minister Anil Sharma, who left the Congress before 2017 assembly elections, said he knew nothing about his son’s decision.

“Ashray did not take my consent, nor was I in favour of his joining the Congress. However, since this issue involves my son and family, I will resign from the cabinet on moral ground,” Anil Sharma said in Mandi, where he was on Monday.  He however said he had no plans to follow suit given that he fought the assembly elections on BJP ticket.

Hours before, former telecom minister Sukh Ram joined the Congress with his grandson in the national capital. The two met Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with AICC in-charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajni Patil and state unit chief Kuldeep Rathore before the formal joining at AICC headquarters today.

The Tribune had on Sunday reported that Sukh Ram’s return to the Congress would happen anytime now. The one-time Congress veteran was in touch with the top leadership of the Congress for a while.

There’s likelihood of Ashray Sharma being considered for the Congress candidature from Mandi Lok Sabha constituency after former Himachal chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his family and senior state leader Kaul Singh Thakur and his kin have declined to contest from the seat.Sukh Ram’s son Anil Sharma is a minister in the incumbent BJP government in Himachal and is expected to resign from his ministerial berth soon to join his family in the Congress.

Sukh Ram and Anil Sharma had quit the Congress on the eve of the Assembly elections in 2017, citing humiliation by some party leaders. Anil Sharma later won the Mandi Sadar Assembly seat on the BJP ticket and became a minister in the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal.

Anil Sharma was also part of the Cabinet of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh. Sukh Ram and his kin had walked out of the Congress in October 2017, claiming some state Congress leaders had asked the former Union Minister to leave the venue of a rally in Mandi that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was to address. 

Virbhadra Singh was named the party’s CM-candidate at that rally.

The reason for Sukh Ram’s return to the Congress is his concern over the political future of grandson Ashray.

The family was hoping he would get the BJP ticket from Mandi, but that did not happen.

The BJP chose to re-nominate MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, who defeated Pratibha Singh, Virbhadra Singh’s wife, in 2014.

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