Former telecom minister Sukhram dies at 94 in Delhi's AIIMS; body to be brought to Mandi for last rites

Former telecom minister Sukhram dies at 94 in Delhi’s AIIMS; body to be brought to Mandi for last rites

2022-05-11 01:35:20

Tribune News Service

Dipender Manta

Mandi, May 11

Pandit Sukhram, the former Telecom Minister and Congress stalwart leader from Mandi passed away in AIIMS, Delhi, on Tuesday night.

He was on life a support system at AIIMS for the last two days after he had suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

Ashray Sharma, the grandson of Sukhram had confirmed the death of Sukhram by tweeting on his Facebook account early Wednesday morning “End of an era. Alvida Dada ji abi nhi bjegi phone ki ghanti (good by Dada ji, now the bell of your phone will not ring.”

On May 6, Sukhram had suffered a brain stroke in Mandi, who was later admitted at zonal hospital Mandi for treatment. Next day, he was airlifted to AIIMS in a government chopper and was undergoing treatment there. On Tuesday late night, he took his last breath at AIIMS.

Sukhram was born on 27 July 1927 at Kotli village in Mandi district. In 1962, he became a Member of the Territorial Council in Himachal Pradesh.

Sukhram had served as the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology from 1993 to 1996. He was a member of the Lok Sabha from the Mandi constituency of Himachal Pradesh. He won the Vidhan Sabha elections five times and the Lok Sabha elections three times. In 2011, he was sentenced to five years in jail for corruption when he was Communications Minister in 1996.

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

Sukhram won the Mandi Lok Sabha seat in 1996, but he was expelled from the Congress along with his son Anil Sharma after the telecom scam in 1996. In 1998, he formed the Himachal Vikas Congress and entered into a post-poll alliance with the BJP in Himachal assembly elections and joined the government.

He had contested the Assembly Elections in 1998 from Mandi Sadar and won by a huge margin of votes. His son Anil Sharma was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998. In the 2003 Assembly poll, he retained the Mandi Assembly seat but joined the Congress in the run-up to the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

According to the family sources, his body will be brought to Mandi to conduct the last rites.

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