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'.
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
Permanent Address : Samkhetar Street, Mandi Town-175001,
(Himachal Pradesh) Tels. (01905) 22790, 22570
1962-63 Member, Territorial Council, Himachal Pradesh
1963-85 Member, Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
1980-85 Minister, Himachal Pradesh (held various portfolios)
1972-77 General Secretary, PCC(I), Himachal Pradesh
1985 Elected to Lok Sabha (Eighth)
-Oct 1986 Union Minister of State, Defence Production and Supplies
Feb 1988 Union Minister of State, Planning
Dec 1989 Union Minister of State, Food and Civil Supplies (Independent)
1991 Re-elected to Lok Sabha (Tenth)
Jan 1993 Union Minister of State, Planning and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge) and Minister of State, Non-conventional Energy Sources
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