BJP ousts former Himachal Pradesh minister Anil Sharma

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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday ousted former Himachal Pradesh power minister Anil Sharma, news agency ANI reported.

“Who so ever be, if he goes against the party line, he will have to face action. He (Sharma) went against the party line. So action has been taken against him,” BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh was quoted as saying by ANI.

Sharma was removed from the state cabinet four months earlier after news emerged that he was campaigning for his son - Aashray Sharma - who was pitted from the parliamentary constituency of Mandi by BJP’s arch-rival - the Congress party. Sharma was had reportedly refused to run a campaign against his son and the saffron party then pitted sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma instead of him.

It is being reported that Sharma had resigned from BJP but stayed on as a BJP MLA and used every opportunity to slam the BJP government.

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The announcement to expel him came after after a faction of Himachal leaders continued building up pressure within the party to throw Anil Sharma out of BJP for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities.

It is interesting to note that Anil’s father former Union Minister Sukh Ram had resigned from the BJP and crossed over to the Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Sharmas are quite influential in the state and served in both Assembly and Lok Sabha seats from Mandi at different times.

Before their inclusion in the BJP, the father-son duo had been in the Congress in the late 90s. Sukh Ram was ousted from the Congress while serving as the Telecom Minister in the P. V. Narasimha Rao cabinet in the aftermath of the telecom scam. However, Sukh Ram again joined the Congress in 2004 and then again joined BJP in 2017.