Ahead of polls, Sukh Ram returns to Congress

Last Updated 25 March 2019, 16:37 IST

Revolving door politics was on full display on Monday as former telecom minister Sukh Ram, who had quit the Congress two years ago, re-joined the party along with his grandson Ashray Sharma.

Sukh Ram, who faced allegations of large-scale corruption during his tenure as a telecom minister under former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, and his son Anil Sharma were expelled from the party in 1996.

They floated the Himachal Vikas Congress but returned to the grand old party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2004.

The 92-year-old leader and his son Anil had joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh in 2017 following differences over ticket distribution.

Interestingly, differences over ticket distribution in the BJP made him tread the tracks back to Congress.

Sukh Ram is seeking to launch the political career of his grandson Ashray Sharma, the son of Anil Sharma, who is a minister in the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh.

Ashray is expected to be the Congress' Lok Sabha candidate from Mandi, the stronghold of the Sukh Ram family which wields considerable influence among the 20% Brahmin voters in Himachal Pradesh.

Sukh Ram and Ashray met Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with AICC in-charge of Himachal Rajani Patil and Congress leaders from the state.

“My homecoming has been made possible because of the benevolence of Rahul Gandhi,” Sukh Ram said at a press conference with Ashray in tow.

“I want to hand over by grandson for the service of the party,” the nonagenarian leader said.

Congress underlined the Brahmin credentials of Sukh Ram as senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala repeatedly referred to him as 'Pandit', a community the party is actively wooing ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Ashray's brother Aayush is married to actor Salman Khan's foster sister Arpita.

(Published 25 March 2019, 15:36 IST)

Follow us on