Anil Sharma resigns from Himachal BJP cabinet; CM Thakur accepts resignation
Shimla: Faced with tremendous pressures, Himachal Pradesh Power and Multi-Purpose Projects (MPP) Anil Sharma on Friday resigned from the cabinet but asserted that he will continue to serve as a member of the state assembly.
"I have sent my resignation to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur this morning," he told the Millennium Post, minutes after his resignation was delivered at Chief Minister's office.
The Chief Minister, who was campaigning in Mandi, confirmed about Sharma's resignation that has been accepted.
The minister had been facing pressures from the BJP to make his position clear after his son Ashray Sharma, along with grandfather Sukh Ram (former telecom minister) had joined the Congress and also got the ticket to contest Mandi parliamentary election against sitting BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma.
When asked about circumstances leading to his resignation, Sharma said, "I have been facing a serious dilemma after my son and father had joined the Congress. Though I had made my position clear to the Chief Minister the kind of statements and cheap remarks being made about me and my family left me very much hurt."
It's now clear that Sukh Ram's ambition to see his grandson Ashray Sharma rising has cost his son Anil Sharma dear.
Sharma had joined the BJP in 2017 just before the assembly polls. Earlier, he was a cabinet minister in the Congress government. Ashray was instrumental in his entry to the BJP but now a reason for his exit too. The outgoing minister said on Thursday that the Chief Minister was in his constituency and tried to ridicule him publicly. This has hurt him and compelled to call it a day.
He said, "I had no plans to make a political career when I contested by the first election in 1993. But my son definitely has an aptitude and interest to keep the legacy of his grandfather alive. I have decided not to stand by him. My status as a minister is not something bigger than the son's career."
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday mounted a fresh attack against Sharma. "You, despite being in my cabinet, kept contacting people to mobilise against BJP candidate. You even challenge the Chief Minister's status saying it's easy to be CM or MLA but impossible to be a leader. And, all these months your father (Pt Sukh Ram) frequently kept asking choicest portfolios to Anil Sharma and a Rajya Sabha seat to Ashray (grandson). What are you people (family) up to? I have so many secrets to tell as this family been a political opportunist."
When asked whether he will campaign for his son, Sharma said no in affirmative. "I will neither campaign for the Congress (i.e. his son) nor for the BJP," he added.
About Mandi seat, he said, "Wait and watch. It's going to be a close finish. Ram Swaroop Sharma should not take shelter behind the Chief Minister if he wants to fight a battle. Let it be Ram Swaroop Sharma vs Ashray fight, not Jai Ram vs Ashray."