BJP is free to decide on me, says Anil Sharma
Shimla: Knives are out in the BJP against incumbent cabinet minister Anil Sharma, whose son Ashrey Sharma has joined the Congress, and now given the party ticket from Mandi to contest against sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma.
Ashrey, 32, is the grandson of former telecom minister Sukh Ram, who is known to have changed the political sides, earlier for his son Anil Sharma and now for grandson eager to make a political inning in Mandi. Anil Sharma along with Sukh Ram had joined the BJP before 2017 poll. He was a cabinet minister in the Congress government led by Virbhadra Singh.
"I have made my position very clear to the BJP. I can't campaign against my son. If BJP wants, they can depute me in other constituencies. Or I will sit at home," Anil Sharma told the Millennium Post.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said It's up to Anil Sharma to decide to work in the BJP or not. "A very strange situation has developed for Anil Sharma. We always give him respect. He was given ticket from Mandi in 2017 and also honoured giving him a suitable place in the cabinet."
Sources said Thakur was quite upset over certain statements made by Anil Sharma relating to circumstances before Sukh Ram joined the Congress with his grandson in the tow.
He is expected to discuss Anil Sharma's issue with party high command and take a final decision to ask his resignation. There is demand growing in the BJP to drop Sharma from the cabinet and also ask him to resign as MLA, a suggestion which Sharma is unlikely to accept.
"The people have heard of putramoh (blind love for son ) but this is the first time when a politician, known for switching parties for political opportunism has taken a grandson for a ride to Congress. What for? Ticket to contest the Lok Sabha election against the BJP," said Chief minister targeting Sukh Ram.
Thakur said the BJP has announced all its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls including Mandi. Sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma has been given ticket against. There was no chance that Ashrey Sharma should have been given ticket replacing Ram Swaroop Sharma. It's a decision which the parliamentary board of the BJP has taken.
Anil Sharma's absence from the BJP function relating to Prime Minister's televised initiative "Main Bhi Chowkidar" has become a new issue against him for disciplinary action.
All BJP leaders were invited to functions, held at different locations. Anil Sharma was also assigned a location but he chose to absent. The local BJP leaders have lodged a strong complaint against Sharma seeking action.
"This kind of behaviour is unbecoming of a cabinet minister. We have taken it seriously," said State BJP president Satpal Satti.