Shimla: Calling it a day, veteran congress leader Sukh Ram, 80, has decided to call it a day and has announced his retirement from electoral politics. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has already indicated that Sukh Ram’s son Anil Sharma would in all likelihood be the congress candidate from Mandi Sadar seat in place of his father.In a political career spanning 45 years, Sukh Ram rose from municipal politics to become the communication minister of the country in the Narasimha Rao government just when the first wave privatization in the telecom sector was starting to unfold in the country. He is also credited with bringing about a telecom revolution in the hill state.
“Having made my contribution, I leave the electoral arena as a satisfied man,” said Sukh Ram. He said “a politician, needed to realize when one should quit and make place for younger people otherwise the voter would surely marginalize you.”
He began his political career by winning the 1962 Mandi Sadar assembly election and remained a minister in the YS Parmar and Ram Lal led state governments before moving to the Lok Sabha.
Disgraced in 1996, when the Central Bureau of Investigation stumbled upon Rs 3.6 crore cash from the residences of Sukh Ram at Delhi and Mandi did not end his political career. Banished from the congress party, he bounced back by floating the regional outfit Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) which won 4 seats in 1998 assembly election and was instrumental in titling the balance of power in favour of BJP to have Prem Kumar Dhumal installed as chief minister. Returning to the congress fold in 2004, HVC was wound up with Sukh Ram merging his party
Meanwhile another octogenarian congress leader Sat Mahajan, revenue minister in the present government, has also decided to retire from politics. “I have decided to keep away from the assembly elections” said Mahajan.