Mandi bypoll campaign: Sukh Ram’s family conspicuous by its absence

Sukh Ram’s son and former minister, who has been a BJP legislator from Mandi, Anil Sharma did not attend the election rally of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur held on Sunday despite his meeting with the state BJP in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna on Saturday.
Sukh Ram’s family has been staying away from the election campaign for the Mandi parliamentary bypollsz slated for October 30. (HT File)
Sukh Ram’s family has been staying away from the election campaign for the Mandi parliamentary bypollsz slated for October 30. (HT File)
Updated on Oct 19, 2021 02:04 AM IST
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ByGaurav Bisht, Shimla

Sukh Ram’s family has been staying away from the election campaign for the Mandi parliamentary bypolls slated for October 30.

Sukh Ram’s son and former minister, who has been a BJP legislator from Mandi, Anil Sharma did not attend the election rally of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur held on Sunday despite his meeting with the state BJP in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna on Saturday.

Meanwhile, talking to the media, Anil Sharma said he might take a decision regarding the next course of action in a day or two.

“It could be anything. My son Ashray Sharma, who is presently a general secretary in the state Congress, is also on the list of Congress’ election observers,” he said.

Sharma is overtly and covertly hitting out at his own government over development works that have slowed down in Mandi. He is also upset over being ignored while planning and executing developmental works in his constituency.

“If my position is strengthened, I would work to pace up the development,” he said.

Sharma said Mandi had got chief minister for the first time, but that has not helped the area in any manner.

He said Sukh Ram’s vote bank was still intact and it would only benefit the party with which he and his family would be in. Sharma along with his family members had switched over to the BJP. He won the 2017 assembly election and was elevated as power minister. But his terms strained after his son Ashray Sharma contested the Lok Sabha elections on the Congress ticket in 2019 against BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma. Anil was compelled to give up his ministerial berth. Since then the party had been sidelining him. “It was my son who contested elections not me. I did not campaign for my son. Time and again I was humiliated in the presence of the chief minister,” he said.

The CM and the state BJP in-charge had held a closed-door meeting with Sharma convincing him to campaign for the party. Sharma had been kept away from the campaign in the municipal corporation elections too.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021