Shimla, Apr 2: Bharatiya Janata Party power minister Anil Sharma on Tuesday announced that he would not campaign for the party's Lok Sabha candidate from Mandi where the Indian National Congress has fielded his son Ashray Sharma. '' I have already conveyed to the BJP leadership after my father Sukh Ram and my son rejoined the INC on March 25 that if Ashray was allotted a Congress ticket; I would not campaign against him.'' Mr Anil Sharma said. Himachal Pradesh unit party president, Satpal Satti, has decided to take up this issue with senior leaders.
Mr Anil Sharma's father Sukh Ram, an erstwhile high-profile Congress leader and former Union Minister of Communications, and son Ashray Sharma left the BJP to rejoin the Congress on March 25, this year. The move seems to have left the ruling BJP in the state in a dilemma.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who hails from Mandi district and has been elected MLA from Seraj constituency for the fifth time, had held consultations at New Delhi with the BJP high command. He has not yet disclosed the outcome. The main contest in Mandi, which will vote on May 19, seems to be between sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma (BJP) and Ashray Sharma (Congress). Mr Sharma, the BJP MLA from Mandi, has not tendered his resignation from the state cabinet and is waiting for the party to take action against him as he was elected on the party ticket .
BJP had won nine out of ten Assembly constituencies in Mandi and has the support of one Independent. For more than 50 years, Mr Sukh Ram has dominated the politics of Mandi. In 2014, Mr Ram Swaroop Sharma had defeated Congress candidate Pratibha Singh, wife of then Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. (UNI)