Campaign for BJP or quit, Himachal CM tells minister



Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday took on former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram of the Congress by saying "for him family is supreme" and also told Power Minister Anil Sharma, son of Sukh Ram, being a BJP member "it's his duty and responsibility to work for the party".

"If he doesn't want to campaign for the BJP in Mandi, then he must quit both the cabinet and the party. We can even remove him from the cabinet and the party," Thakur told IANS

Addressing a meeting in Mandi parliamentary constituency, Thakur said: "For me, the country is supreme. But for Pandit Sukh Ram, it's the family that is supreme." 

"Pandit Sukh Ram is a veteran leader and he has to realise that his innings in the politics is almost over. At this ripe age, Sukh Ram is spoiling the political career of his son and grandson," the Chief Minister said.

Anil Sharma's son Ashray Sharma is the Congress candidate from Mandi. He is pitted against BJP's sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma.

Popularly known as Panditji in Mandi, six-time MLA and three-time MP Sukh Ram, 91, and his grandson Ashray Sharma rejoined the Congress on March 25 after quitting the BJP.

At the launch of the Congress campaign, Sharma announced that he would campaign for his party but not against his son.

"I have made it clear to my party leadership, including the Chief Minister, I will not campaign against my son in his constituency," Anil Sharma told IANS. "But as a party worker, I will campaign for the BJP candidates in other constituencies," he said.