Anand Sharma will ‘definitely’ be minister in INDIA bloc govt, declares Himachal CM

| | Shimla
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Anand Sharma will ‘definitely’ be minister in INDIA bloc govt, declares Himachal CM

Monday, 13 May 2024 | PNS | Shimla

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Sunday expressed strong confidence that former Union Minister Anand Sharma would hold a ministerial position in the upcoming government formed by the INDIA bloc at the Centre.


Sharma, who previously served as the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry from 2009 to 2014, is contesting as the Congress candidate from the Kangra Lok Sabha seat in June 1 elections.


During his campaign in the Jwalamukhi assembly segment for Sharma, Sukhu emphasized the significant contributions Sharma made to the State during his tenure in the Central Government. “Kangra requires a Member of Parliament whose influence resonates nationwide. Anand Sharma has been nominated from Kangra due to his stature as a leader and his substantial contributions to Himachal Pradesh during his tenure as a Union Minister,” said Sukhu.


The National Institute of Fashion Technology in Kangra, Spice Park in Nadaun, Regional Passport Office (RPO) 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 that rumours had been spread that he had resigned, Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said that 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 that the people will give a befitting reply to the BJP and defeat its “dhan-bal (money power)” with “jan-bal (power of people)”.


Sukhu claimed that 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.

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