Weeks Before Himachal Polls, Congress Jolted, Minister Switches To BJP

Himachal Pradesh minister Anil Sharma's induction into the BJP would be announced later in the day in Delhi

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Weeks Before Himachal Polls, Congress Jolted, Minister Switches To BJP

Anil Sharma cited "deliberate ignorance by the Congress" as the reason for his decision.

Shimla: 

Highlights

  1. Anil Sharma was cabinet minister in Virbhadra Singh-led government
  2. He was inducted into the cabinet in 2013
  3. Mr Sharma is the son of former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram
In a setback to the Congress in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma, who was a cabinet minister in Virbhadra Singh-led present government, has joined the BJP.

Mr Sharma's induction into the party would be announced officially later in the day in Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesperson Ganesh Dutt told IANS.

"I have resigned both from the party and the government owing to deliberate ignorance by the Congress in the run-up to the elections," Mr Sharma told reporters in Mandi, his home constituency.

"Firstly, we were ignored at Rahul Gandhi's rally in Mandi and later in the constitution of election committees announced recently by the party central leadership," he said.

Mr Sharma was inducted into the cabinet in 2013 and was allocated portfolios of rural development and Panchayati Raj and animal husbandry. He was also minister of state from 1993-97.

A three-time legislator and a Rajya Sabha member, he is currently a legislator from Mandi.

Actor Salman Khan's sister Arpita is married to Anil Sharma's son, Aayush.

Himachal Pradesh, presently ruled by the Congress, will go to polls on on November 9 to elect its new 68-member assembly. The result will be declared on December 18.

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