Hundreds bid adieu to Ram Swaroop

Hundreds bid adieu to Ram Swaroop

Shimla: "Arre Bhai, Ram Swaroop, tumne kaise Mandi seat jeet lee" were sceptical remarks from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when Ram Swaroop got elected to the Parliament from Mandi Parliamentary constituency, first time in 2014 poll.

It was Congress rule in Himachal Pradesh and this low-profile RSS hard-core politician won the seat defeating Pratibha Singh, a two-time MP and wife of six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. No one really expected a first-time entrant to electoral politics to win this prized seat in Himachal Pradesh.

Initially, Jai Ram Thakur, the incumbent BJP Chief Minister, was tipped for contesting Mandi against Pratibha Singh.Thakur, then a sitting four-time MLA and former BJP party president instead suggested the name of Ram Swaroop Sharma. It was quite a surprise for many.

The June 1958-born two-time MP was found dead at his official residence in Delhi. The police said the MP was found hanging in his room, which was locked from inside. His mortal remains were consigned to flames at village Machhayal, near Jogindernagar as hundreds of people including top politicians including Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal were seen in tears, bidding adieu to former MP.

The Chief Minister refused to comment on social media posts raising suspicions on the former MP's demise, and the need for a probe asserting that the matter is already under investigation by Delhi police. "It's his family, which will be consulted, if any such need raises," said Thakur. Sharma, who used to describe himself "sudama"–a garib brahmin (poor Brahamin), childhood friend of Lord Krishana (his reference to PM Modi), had been basically an organisation's man, who worked tirelessly for the BJP in Himachal Pradesh.

Many Mandi voters vividly remember that during his campaign "pandit ji" –as he was known, used to say "I am a poor brahmin, fighting a Raja (Virbhadra Singh). Please bless me with your kindness. I have no resources, no big name but I will make Mandi –Chhoti Kashi, proud if you elect me to the Parliament."

When elected, he often used to narrate his first interaction with the Prime Minister. "When I went to see Modi ji and congratulate him on becoming prime Minister he (PM) greeted me with quite sceptical. Arre Bhai, Ram Swaroop, tumne Kaise Mandi seat jeet lee?"

I said "Sir apke Ashirwad se". And, Modi ji hugged him tight.

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