Pandit Sukh Ram
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
1989 (1989)–1998 (1998)
Preceded byMaheshwar Singh
Succeeded byMaheshwar Singh
ConstituencyMandi, Himachal Pradesh
In office
1984 (1984)–1989 (1989)
Preceded byVirbhadra Singh
Succeeded byMaheshwar Singh
ConstituencyMandi, Himachal Pradesh
Minister of Communications and Information Technology
In office
1993 (1993)–1996 (1996)
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Preceded byRajesh Pilot
Succeeded byAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Personal details
Born
Sukhram Sharma

(1927-07-27)27 July 1927
Mandi, Punjab, British Raj
Died11 May 2022(2022-05-11) (aged 94)
New Delhi, India
NationalityIndian
Political partyIndian National Congress
Other political
affiliations
RelationsAayush Sharma (grandson)
ChildrenAnil Sharma (son)
Residence(s)Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Alma materDelhi Law School
ProfessionPolitician

Pandit Sukh Ram (born Sukhram Sharma; 27 July 1927 – 11 May 2022)[1] was an Indian politician who served as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology from 1993 to 1996. He was a member of Lok Sabha from the Mandi constituency of Himachal Pradesh. He won the Vidhan Sabha elections five times and the Lok Sabha elections three times.[2] He is the father of politician Anil Sharma and grandfather of actor Aayush Sharma. In 2011 he was sentenced to 5 years in jail for corruption when he was Communications Minister in 1996.[3]

Early life

Sukhram Sharma was born on 27 July 1927[4] in a poor family of 10 children in Kotli, Himachal Pradesh.[5]

He attended the Delhi Law School and practised as a lawyer at the Mandi District law courts in 1953. In 1962, he became a Member of the Territorial Council in Himachal Pradesh.

Political career

Ram represented the Mandi Assembly seat from 1963 to 1984. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 and served as a junior minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government. He served as minister of state for defence production and supplies, planning and food and civil supplies. Sukh Ram was the Union minister of state (independent charge) holding the communications portfolio from 1993 to 1996.[6]

While Ram represented the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, his son contested and won the Assembly seat in 1993. Ram won the Mandi Lok Sabha seat in 1996, but the two were expelled from the Congress party after the telecom scam. They formed the Himachal Vikas Congress,[7] entered into a post-poll alliance with the BJP and joined the government.

Ram contested the Assembly Elections in 1998 from Mandi Sadar and won by a huge margin of 22000+ votes; that was highest in the State. His son Anil Sharma was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998. In the 2003 Assembly poll, Ram retained the Mandi Assembly seat but joined the Congress in the run-up to the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Sharma won the Mandi Assembly seat in 2007 and 2012 as a Congress candidate. In 2017, prior to elections, Ram joined BJP along with Sharma and grandson Aashray Sharma.

It is considered as impact of Ram that BJP won 9 out of 10 seats in Mandi District and one seat i.e. Joginder Nagar was won by an independent candidate. Sharma was the Power Minister in the state of Himachal Pradesh under BJP regime.[8] The family has a significant influence among the Himachal's brahmins, who comprise nearly 20%, or a fifth, of the state's electorate (the second-highest for any state in India, next to Uttarakhand). His other grandson Aayush Sharma is an actor and married superstar Salman Khan's sister.[9]

Ram crossed over to Bharatiya Janata Party in 2017[10] before reverting to the Indian National Congress in 2019.[11][12][13][14]

Jail

In 1996 he was Communications Minister during a major telecom scam. In 2011 he was sentenced to 5 years in jail for corruption in this scam.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Veteran Himachal Congress leader Sukh Ram passes away
  2. ^ "Mandi Lok Sabha Election Result - Parliamentary Constituency". resultuniversity.com. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b "1996 telecom scam: Sukhram gets 5 years in jail". www.thehindubusinessline.com. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Sukhram: A wily politician turned Kingmaker". Hindustan Times. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. ^ "The Man From Mandi". Outlook India. 4 September 1996. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "About Us | Former Ministers | Department of Telecommunications". 2 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  7. ^ "दो दशक में पंडित सुखराम ने चार बार बदला पाला, 1998 में बनाई थी हिविकां". Amar Ujala (in Hindi). Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Congress leader Sukh Ram's son resigns from Himachal's BJP govt". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Salman's sister all set to tie knot with Himachal leader Sukh Ram's grandson". Hindustan Times. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  10. ^ Bodhi, Anand (15 October 2017). "Sukh Ram and sons cross over to BJP - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Back in HP Congress, Sukhram Buries Decades-long Feud with Virbhadra Singh, Cements Ties with Hug". News18. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Former Union Minister Sukh Ram, grandson Aashray Sharma join Congress". The Hindu. PTI. 25 March 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 April 2019.((cite news)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ IANS (7 April 2019). "Party hoppers before Lok Sabha polls". Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Grandson in tow, Sukh Ram returns to Congress". Hindustan Times. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
Lok Sabha Preceded byVirbhadra Singh Member of Parliamentfor Mandi 1984 – 1989 Succeeded byMaheshwar Singh Preceded byMaheshwar Singh Member of Parliamentfor Mandi 1991 – 1998 Succeeded byMaheshwar Singh Political offices Preceded byRajesh Pilot(MoS, Independent Charge) Minister of Communications and Information Technology(MoS, Independent Charge) 17 January 1993 - 16 May 1996 Succeeded byAtal Bihari Vajpayee