Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday asked former minister Anil Sharma, who resigned from Himachal Pradesh cabinet on Friday, to quit from the party and assembly as he was elected on the party ticket in 2017 assembly elections.
At a joint press conference here on Saturday, state BJP Vice-President Ganesh Dutt and General Secretary Chandermohan Thakur said the mandate upon which Sharma was elected in last assembly elections was meant for the party.
“If he had so much confidence on his and his family’s popularity in Mandi, he should resign from assembly too and seek fresh mandate from the people,” they said, adding the people of the state won’t ever accept such a leader.
The BJP leaders said Sharma was indulging in indiscipline as he was canvassing for his son, Ashray Sharma, a Congress candidate from the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, secretly.
Sharma was elected to the HP assembly on a BJP ticket and he should have campaigned for the party in the Lok Sabha polls. But he had now adopted half-Congress and half-BJP attitude which was not acceptable. In fact, there were reports that he was secretly campaigning for his son from behind closed doors, they said.
“If he had even iota of morality left in him, he should resign and work openly in favour of his son in Lok Sabha polls if he wants,” they added.
It is worth mentioning here that Sharma’s father and former Union minister Sukh Ram, and his son Ashray Sharma had joined Congress party after Ashray was denied party ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections from Mandi Lok Sabha seat.
This has put Anil Sharma in a fix with Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and other BJP leaders urging him to campaign for the party in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. Replying to a query as to why the party hasn’t taken action against him, Chandermohan Thakur said Sharma was still a member of the BJP family as he hadn’t resigned from the party and they were hoping that good sense would prevail upon him.
“We are hoping that Sharma would mend his ways and toes the party line,” he said. Further, the party was giving him time to voluntarily resign from the party and assembly on moral grounds. If he fails to do so, the party would take action against him in due course of time, he added.
Meanwhile, in another development, Governor Acharya Devvrat had accepted Sharma’s resignation on Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s recommendation.