Sukh Ram’s grandson Aashray to join BJP soon, says HP CM Jai Ram Thakur

Published on Sep 24, 2022 10:43 PM IST

The announcement came in a joint press conference held by Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur and Anil Sharma at Mandi after the Prime Minister’s rally

Aashray is currently state general secretary in Congress and had fought 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Congress ticket (HT Photo)
Aashray is currently state general secretary in Congress and had fought 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Congress ticket (HT Photo)

Mandi Sadar MLA Anil Sharma will stay in the BJP, and his son Aashray Sharma, who contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket and is Party’s state general secretary, will also join the BJP soon, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Saturday.

The announcement came in a joint press conference held by Thakur and Anil Sharma at Mandi after the Prime Minister’s rally.

The chief minister and Anil Sharma have shared a love-hate relationship ever since the latter had to step down as cabinet minister after Aashray Sharma jumped the ship from BJP to Congress in 2019.

Anil Sharma along with his father, Sukh Ram, a veteran Congress leader and former union telecom minister, had joined BJP before the 2017 elections. Anil was appointed power and MPP minister in the Jai Ram Thakur government.

However, Sukh Ram and his grandson Aashray Sharma returned to the Congress fold before the 2019 elections resulting in Anil’s exit from the cabinet.

Rumours were rife in the political circles that Anil may rejoin Congress before the upcoming assembly elections.

But Anil said that it was his late father who wanted him to stay with the BJP, and he was fulfilling his wish.

Anil Sharma and his son Aashray Sharma had switched over to BJP ahead of the 2017 assembly elections. Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur had inducted Anil Sharma into his cabinet but the relationship soured when his son Aashray contested Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket against BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma in 2019. Ramswaroop Sharma defeated Aashray with a margin of 40,54,59 votes. His father Anil Sharma who was the power minister in BJP was forced to quit his cabinet berth. Anil, a sitting MLA from Mandi, has not shared good terms with BJP leaders including chief minister Jai Ram Thakur. On many occasions, particularly at the party function Anil Sharma had to face humiliation. Anil Sharma was not made part of the party’s campaign during the Mandi Lok Sabha by-polls and Mandi Municipal Corporation elections. Anil Sharma had openly expressed his resentment over the step-motherly treatment meted out to him during chief minister Jai Ram Thakur’s term. Aashray Sharma also had a topsy-turvy time in Congress. He recently resigned from the panel constituted by the party to lead the Yuva Berozgar Yatra, reportedly owing to his differences with Shimla rural legislator Vikramaditya Singh who was made co-incharge for the yatra. Vikramaditya Singh was also later divested of the responsibility and instead his mother PCC chief Pratibha Singh was appointed in charge with AICC in charge and Rajya Sabha member Rajiv Shukla appointing the leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri and the head of the campaign panel, Sukhwinder Singh Singh Sukhu as its co-in-charge. Sukhla’s action was aimed at ebbing factionalism in the party. Rozgar Sangarhsh Yatra had been mired in controversy ever since it started in August.

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