Anand Sharma will 'definitely' be minister in INDIA bloc govt, declares Himachal CM Sukhu

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Shimla, May 12 (PTI) Former Union minister Anand Sharma will "definitely" be a minister in an INDIA bloc government at the Centre, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Sunday.


Sharma, who served as the Union minister for commerce and industry between 2009 and 2014, is the Congress candidate from the Kangra Lok Sabha seat.

Campaigning for Sharma in the Jwalamukhi assembly segment, Sukhu highlighted the former Union minister's contributions to the state during his previous stint in the central government.

"Kangra needs an MP whose voice is heard across the country. Anand Sharma has been fielded from Kangra as he is a tall leader and contributed a lot to Himachal as Union minister," Sukhu said.


The National Institute of Fashion Technology in Kangra, spice park in Nadaun, regional passport office in Shimla, expansion of industrial areas in the state, and the Shimla-Matour four-lane highway are results of his vision. If Sharma wins, his berth in an INDIA bloc government is certain, Sukhu asserted.

Sharma and other Congress functionaries were also present at the rally.

The chief minister also accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to topple the state's Congress government.


Sukhu said rumours had been spread that he had resigned, Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said even God could not save the government.

"A conspiracy was hatched to topple my government but six Congress rebels were disqualified for defying the whip and my government survived," Sukhu said.

There is no threat to the government and it will complete its full term, he added.


Sukhu was referring to the six rebel Congress MLAs who abstained from voting on the cut motion and finance bill (Budget) in the assembly. They were subsequently disqualified for defying a party whip to be present in the House and vote in favour of the government.

"The rebels had been saying that they did not get due respect but all the decisions regarding their constituencies and posting of officers was done with their consent. They were not hungry not for respect but for the 'saaman' in briefcases," Sukhu alleged.

Reiterating that the Lok Sabha elections are for saving democracy, the senior Congress leader said the people will give a befitting reply to the BJP and defeat its "dhanbal (money power)" with "janbal (power of people)".


Sukhu claimed the state government restored the Old Pension Scheme for employees and pensioners without any political motive but former chief minister and his predecessor Thakur challenged the employees to contest the elections to get their pension.

He also accused Thakur of stalling the release of Rs 9,000 crore deposited with the Centre under the National Pension Scheme.

The BJP did not support the state government's resolution seeking a special financial package from the Centre after the natural disaster last monsoon, Sukhu said.

But the state government released Rs 4,500 crore from its own resources to provide relief to 22,000 affected families, he added. PTI BPL BPL SZM