Not only Himachal, Pandit Sukhram was a big name in the politics of the country.
Mandi, May 11 (H.S.). Senior leader of Himachal, former Union Minister and known as Chankya of politics, Pandit Sukh Ram was a big name not only in Himachal but also in the politics of the country. As the messiah of the communication revolution in the country, he will always be remembered in the hearts of the people. Pt. Sukhram was born on July 27, 1927 in the house of Pt. Bhavdev in Kotli village located in Tungal area of Mandi district. They were ten siblings. He got his education from Vallabh College and Law College Delhi after Vijay High School in Mandi. Pt. Sukhram was working as Secretary in the Municipality Mandi.
On the request of the people, he contested as an independent candidate for the Himachal Pradesh Territorial Council in 1962 and defeated the great freedom fighter Swami Krishna Nand, who was a Congress candidate, popularly known as Gandhi of Sindh. In this election, the farmer leader Dhani Ram Thakur of Tungal walked as his guide. After this he joined Congress and represented Mandi assembly seat till the year 1984. During this, many important ministries of the state government including public works, agriculture and animal husbandry remained with him. Fifth note of musical scale. Sukhram has been claiming the Chief Minister’s post from Mandi district, making his presence felt in Himachal’s politics.
The first Chief Minister of the state was close to Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar and before Mandi, the chief ministerial candidate was Th. Karma stood up against Singh. Senior Congress leaders of that time, including Chaudhary Piru Ram, Pt. Apart from Gauri Prasad, due to the opposition of Rangeela Ram Rao and Kaul Singh, Pt. Sukhram went out of the race for the post of Chief Minister. In the year 1993, Pt. Sukh Ram was out of the race for Chief Minister due to lack of support from Mandi, despite the support of 22 MLAs. Pt. Sukhram made his mark across the country by initiating the communication revolution as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology from 1993 to 1996.
Pt. Sukhram was elected five times to the Himachal Legislative Assembly and thrice to the Lok Sabha from the Mandi parliamentary seat. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 and served as a junior minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government. He served as the Minister of State for Defense Production and Supplies, Planning and Food and Civil Supplies. Sukh Ram held the Department of Communications, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) from 1993 to 1996. But both were expelled from the Congress party after the telecom scam. He formed the Himachal Vikas Congress. The credit of forming a coalition government in Himachalan also goes to Pt. Sukh Ram.
He formed a post-election alliance with the Himachal Pradesh BJP in the year 1998 and joined the government. Sadar assembly constituency is considered to be the stronghold of Pt. Sukhram. From where he has not lost any election. Pt. Sukhram contested from Mandi Sadar assembly constituency on HIVC ticket in 1998 and won with a huge margin of more than 22000 votes, which was the highest margin of victory in the state at that time. Joined Congress in 2004 Lok Sabha elections and also merged his party with Congress. In 2017, before the elections, Pt. Sukhram Ram joined the BJP along with his grandson Aashray Sharma due to rift with Virbhadra Singh. In this election BJP won 9 out of 10 seats in Mandi district and one seat i.e. Joginder Nagar was won by independent candidate. But in the year 2019, to fulfill the grandson’s political ambition, Pt. Sukhram returned to Congress with grandson Ashray Sharma. It was from here that the period of his political downfall also started. Grandson Aashray Sharma was defeated in the Modi wave by more than four lakh votes. And his son Anil Sharma had to leave the ministerial post. Another of her grandson Aayush Sharma is an actor and is married to the sister of superstar Salman Khan.
Developmental Thinking: The thinking of Pt. Sukhram has been developmental. He has always contributed in bringing Mandi to the office of the Ministry and creation of employment in the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha. When he was the animal husbandry minister in the state, milk chilling centers were opened by him in every village. Apart from this, while being the Union Food Supply Minister, he brought the stock of Food Corporation of India to the market. While being the Minister of State for Defense, Army Recruitment Offices were opened in Mandi and Hamirpur. While being the Planning Minister at the Center, provision was made for the sewerage in Mandi and the budget for Indira Market. Whereas as the Minister of Communications, along with the country, a network of telephone exchange and telecommunications was established in Himachal as well.
When he had to resign from the post of minister during the BJP-HIVC coalition government, as the chairman of employment resource generation, he prepared the blueprint of self-employment scheme for the youth. Pt. Sukhram’s political life has been belligerent and struggling. While he touched the heights of politics, he was surrounded by allegations of corruption under political conspiracies, which he only wanted to challenge in court and prove himself innocent.