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Sukhram: A wily politician turned Kingmaker

Despite falling from grace in the wake of biggest-ever telecom scam during his term as Telecom Minister in Congress regime, the shrewed politician not only continues to just live but live the life kingsize -- bearing respective tags of the 'King of Mandi' or the 'Kingmaker of Himachal'.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2003 13:25 IST
HindustanTimes.com
HindustanTimes.com
PTI
Hindustantimes

The wily old fox of Indian politics, Sukhram personifies the undying spirit of struggle, political acumen and one-upmanship, particularly in his home state of Himachal Pradesh and more so in his former Lok Sabha constituency of Mandi.

Despite falling from grace in the wake of biggest-ever telecom scam during his term as Telecom Minister in Congress regime, the shrewd politician not only continues to just live but live the life king size -- bearing respectful tags of the 'King of Mandi' or the 'Kingmaker of Himachal'.

Kicked out by Congress, he wasted no time in forming a Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) and extending a hand of friendship to BJP, which was hesitantly accepted by the latter with an eye on the expected benefits in Himachal Pradesh. And it did reap the benefits when four HVC MLAs backed BJP enabling it to form the government in 1998 polls despite getting a much lesser vote percentage than Congress.

Known for his will power and political manouvrability, he is back to his wily games with an eye on February 26, 2003 polls. Despite backing the BJP for full five-year term, he has decided to part ways with the party citing 'communalism' as the reason. He has also quit NDA and formed a third front with the Left for the polls. Many say he is likely to ally with Congress.

Whatever be the results of his moves, the three time MP and five time Union Minister seems set to continue as a force to reckon with in Himachal Pradesh as his admirers still hold him in high esteem for revolutionary changes in the country's Communication network by modernising Postal services and getting installed about 50 lakhs telephone lines, with a specific focus on Himachal.


BIO-DATA IN BRIEF

Father's Name        :           Late Shri Bhav Dev
Date of Birth            :           27 July 1927
Place of Birth           :           Arnyana in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh
Marital Status          :           Married on August 6, 1953
Spouse's Name        :           Mrs Ram Devi
Children                                 Two sons and three daughters

Educational Qualifications:  B.A, LL.B, Panjab University, Chandigarh and
                                         Law Faculty, Delhi University, Delhi

Profession:                       Agriculturist

Permanent Address :          Samkhetar Street, Mandi Town-175001, 
                                      (Himachal Pradesh) Tels. (01905) 22790, 22570 

Positions Held

   
1962-63        Member, Territorial Council, Himachal Pradesh

1963-85       Member, Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly

1967-72/
1980-85
       Minister, Himachal Pradesh (held various portfolios)

1972-77        
General Secretary, PCC(I), Himachal Pradesh

1985
            Elected to Lok Sabha (Eighth)

Sep 1985
-Oct 1986
      Union Minister of State, Defence Production and Supplies

Oct 1986-
Feb 1988
        Union Minister of State, Planning

Feb 1988-
Dec 1989
        Union Minister of State, Food and Civil Supplies (Independent)

1991                 
Re-elected to Lok Sabha (Tenth)

July 1992-
Jan 1993
         Union Minister of State, Planning and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge) and Minister of State, Non-conventional Energy Sources

Jan 1993-
May 1996
        Union Minister of State, Communications (Independent Charge)

1996                 
Elected to Lok Sabha (Eleventh) for the third time

Special Interests: Yoga exercise and health hygiene