Sukhram returns to Cong

Published on Apr 12, 2004 07:00 PM IST

Sukhram merged his Himachal Vikas Congress with the Congress eight years after being thrown out in the wake of telecom scam.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

Eight years after he was thrown out of the Congress in the wake of the telecom scam, former Communication Minister Sukh Ram on Monday rejoined the party, merging his Himachal Vikas Congress with it.

"I, as president of Himachal Vikas Congress, have decided to merge the party with the Indian National Congress," he told reporters at AICC headquarters here after rejoining the party.

To a question whether corruption would be an issue in the Lok Sabha polls, Sukh Ram replied in the affirmative. He would not accept any public post and would remain a "mere Congress worker" till he was exonerated in the corruption cases pending against him.

Under certain compulsions, he had to form a regional party and extend support to the BJP Government in Himachal Pradesh, he said.

"The credit for merger of Himachal Vikas Congress with Congress goes to Sonia Gandhi, who has shown courage like her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi in this difficult period," he said.

Welcoming him into the party fold, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said it was a "homecoming" for the former minister as he had a long association with the party.

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