Hours after switching over to the BJP, former minister in the Virbhadra Singh Cabinet, Anil Sharma, said that it had become unbearable for him to take more insults, and live under the “dictatorship” of Virbhadra Singh in his Cabinet, or the party. “I had lost all my patience as twice my father Pt Sukh Ram, a former Union Telecom Minister, was insulated by Virbhadra Singh, who called him ‘Aaya Ram ,Gaya Ram’ at a Congress function in Mandi. He also stopped my father from attending the Congress rally in my constituency — when Rahul Gandhi came on October 7 to Paddal ground — by telling AICC general secretary Sushil Shinde that if Pt Sukh Ram comes to meeting he (CM) will not attend “, he told over phone.
Sharma also pointed out instances when, according to him, Chief Minister overturned his requests for development works in Mandi town, and instead encouraged his “loyalists” to interfere in his political affairs administrative matters and schemes. He also said that the party kept him out from six poll committees formed for the campaign and other issues related to the poll management. “Some people about whom I had never heard were in the Congress panels, but my name was missing. PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu started calling me later in the day on Saturday, may be after he heard about my plans about of joining the BJP,” said Sharma. Attacking the Congress for not treating his father right, he added: “It was during Lok Sabha election of Pratibha Singh (Virbhadra Singh’s wife), that Chief Minister put pressures on Pandit ji to merge Himachal Vikas Congress with the Congress. We helped Pratibha Singh win the Mandi seat. He (CM) promised to make me a Cabinet minister, but never did so.”
After the Congress victory in 2012, Anil Sharma’s name was not in the list of Cabinet ministers. He said that it was only after his father met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that the CM agreed to induct him. He accused the high command to bowing to the Virbhadra despite the corruption charges against him. Sharma said that he will be contesting from Mandi Sadar on a BJP ticket. In 1998, when HCV was a coalition partner of the BJP, Anil Sharma had served as a Rajya Sabha member. Three-time MLA, Anil Sharma, has remained a minister in the Congress governments twice.