Sukh Ram’s son, Anil Sharma, inducted into Congress govt
-Anil Sharma, son of former telecom minister Sukh Ram, was into state cabinet, gets portfolios of rural development and panchayati raj and animal husbandry
Shimla-Induction of Anil Sharma into state cabinet had become inevitable as Congress has to face a bypoll for Mandi parliament seat, in which Mandi district with 10 assembly seats would play a crucial role. Considering that Sukh Ram still holds clout among voters in Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti, the party could not ignore the claim of Anil Sharma for a cabinet berth, though there were many others in the race.
Sharma, who has got portfolios of rural development and panchayati raj and animal husbandry, was minister of state from 1993-97. With his induction, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s cabinet has been expanded to 11 from 10.
A three-time MLA from Mandi and a former Rajya Sabha member, Sharma had earlier served as minister of state in Virbhadra Singh Cabinet from 1993 to 1996 and had resigned from the council of ministers after his father, Sukh Ram, was arrested in the telecom scam.
Official sources said in the next cabinet expansion the chief minister is keen to induct four to five legislators as chief parliamentary secretaries too. (Agencies)