Ex-Telecom Minister Sukh Ram rejoins Congress

Former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram and his grandson Ashray Sharma on Monday rejoined the Congress, after parting ways from the BJP.

The latter may be the Congress candidate against the BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi, the family turf.

Sukh Ram’s son Anil Sharma, an MLA from the Mandi Sadar Assembly seat, is a Cabinet minister in the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal Pradesh and is expected to quit his ministerial berth.

The family joined the BJP just before the 2017 assembly polls.

Sukh Ram and Ashray met Congress President Rahul Gandhi along with the party’s in-charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajni Patil and state unit chief Kuldeep Rathore before their induction.

Anil Sharma was inducted into the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress Cabinet in 2013 and allocated the portfolios of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry. He was also a Minister of State from 1993-97.

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s foster sister Arpita is married to Anil Sharma’s son Aayush.

Elections to the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh will be held on May 19.