Sukh Ram

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Sukh Ram
Member of Parliament of Lok Sabha
In office
1989–1998
Preceded byMaheshwar Singh
Succeeded byMaheshwar Singh
ConstituencyMandi, Himachal Pradesh
In office
1984–1989
Preceded byVirbhadra Singh
Succeeded byMaheshwar Singh
ConstituencyMandi, Himachal Pradesh
Minister of Communications and Information Technology
In office
1993–1996
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Preceded byRajesh Pilot
Succeeded byAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Personal details
Born (1927-07-27) 27 July 1927 (age 92)
Mandi, British Punjab
CitizenshipIndian
Political partyIndian National Congress
Other political
affiliations
Bharatiya Janata Party(2017-2019)
ChildrenAnil Sharma, a former Cabinet Minister in Virbhadra Singh Government (2012-17), now in the BJP
ResidenceMandi, Himachal Pradesh, India
Alma materDelhi Law School

Pandit Sukh Ram is an Indian politician who served as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology from 1993 to 1996. He was a member of Lok Sabha from the Mandi constituency of Himachal Pradesh. He won the Vidhan Sabha elections five times and the Lok Sabha elections three times.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Sukh Ram was born on 27 July 1927[1] in a poor family of 10 children in Kotli, Himachal Pradesh.[2]

He attended the Delhi Law School and practised as a lawyer at the Mandi District law courts in 1953. In 1962 he became a Member of the Territorial Council in Himachal Pradesh.

Political career[edit]

He represented the Mandi Assembly seat from 1963 to 1984. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 and served as a junior minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government. He served as minister of state for defence production and supplies, planning and food and civil supplies. Sukh Ram was the Union minister of state (independent charge) holding the communications portfolio from 1993 to 1996.[3]

While Sukh Ram represented the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, his son contested and won the Assembly seat in 1993. Sukh Ram won the Mandi Lok Sabha seat in 1996, but the two were expelled from the Congress party after the telecom scam. They formed the Himachal Vikas Congress, entered into a post-poll alliance with the BJP and joined the government.

Sukh Ram contested the Assembly Elections in 1998 from Mandi Sadar and won by a huge margin of 22000+ votes; that was highest in the State. His son Anil Sharma was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998. In the 2003 Assembly poll, Sukh Ram retained the Mandi Assembly seat but joined the Congress in the run-up to the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Anil Sharma won the Mandi Assembly seat in 2007 and 2012 as a Congress candidate. In 2017, prior to elections, Sukh Ram joined BJP along with his son Anil Sharma and Grandson Aashray Sharma. It is considered as impact of Sukh Ram that BJP won 9 out of 10 seats in DISTRICT Mandi and one seat i.e. Joginder Nagar was won by an independent candidate. His son Anil is now Power Minister in the state of Himachal Pradesh under BJP regime.[citation needed] The family has a significant influence among the Himachal’s Brahmins, who comprise nearly 20 per cent, or a fifth, of the state’s electorate (the second-highest for any state in India, next to Uttarakhand). His another grandson is married to Salman Khan's sister.[citation needed]

Sukhram crossed over to Bharatiya Janata Party in 2017[4] before reverting to the Congress in 2019.[5][6][7]

Controversies[edit]

Sukh Ram was Telecom Minister in P. V. Narasimha Rao's cabinet. In 1996, the Central Bureau of Investigation seized from his official residence Rs. 3.6 crores[8] in cash concealed in bags and suitcases, which he was alleged to have collected in connection with irregularities in awarding a telecom contract. He was sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment by a Delhi court in 2002.[9] He was convicted again on 18 November 2011 on the charges of following fraudulent procedures in the purchase of polythene-insulated jelly-filled cables for the Department of Telecommunication during his tenure as the minister of that department.[10][11] He had previously been sentenced for amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.[12]

Although convicted and sentenced by different courts in three different but related cases, Ram has said he will fight his case in higher courts.[13] In March 2018, the Supreme Court consented to hear his appeal in May of that year.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sukhram: A wily politician turned Kingmaker". Hindustan Times. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  2. ^ "The Man From Mandi". Outlook India. 4 September 1996. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  3. ^ "About Us | Former Ministers | Department of Telecommunications". web.archive.org. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  4. ^ Bodhi, Anand (15 October 2017). "Sukh Ram and sons cross over to BJP - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Back in HP Congress, Sukhram Buries Decades-long Feud with Virbhadra Singh, Cements Ties with Hug". News18. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Former Union Minister Sukh Ram, grandson Aashray Sharma join Congress". The Hindu. PTI. 25 March 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 April 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ IANS (7 April 2019). "Party hoppers before Lok Sabha polls". Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Sukh Ram sentenced to 5 years jail in 1996 telecom scam case". The Hindu. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Sukh Ram gets 3-yr RI". The Chandigarh Tribune. 5 July 2002. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Sukhram convicted in 1996 telecom scam". The Times of India. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Sukhram, Raja will be in same jail". The Hindu. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Sukhram's assets swelled from Rs 26 lakh to Rs 6 Cr: CBI". The Chennai Online. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  13. ^ The Chor from mandi has still not returned the money which was not seized and its value has increased 2o times in these 20 years"I will appeal to higher court: Sukhram". The Hans India. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  14. ^ "92-year-old Sukhram seeks to clear his name from telecom scam - Times of India". The Times of India. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.