Congress minister Anil Sharma joins BJP in Himachal Pradesh
Shimla: In a setback to the Congress in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma, who was a sitting cabinet minister in Virbhadra Singh-led present government, has joined the BJP.
Sharma's induction to the party would be announced officially later in the day in New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesperson Ganesh Dutt said.
"I have resigned both from the party and the government owing to deliberate ignorance by the Congress in the run-up to the elections," Sharma told reporters in Mandi town, his home constituency.
"Firstly, we were ignored at Rahul Gandhi's rally in Mandi and then later in the constitution of election committees announced recently by the party central leadership."
Sharma was inducted into the cabinet in 2013 and was allocated portfolios of rural development and Panchayati Raj and animal husbandry.
He was also minister of state from 1993-97.
Sharma, a three-time legislator and a Rajya Sabha member, is currently a legislator from Mandi.
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's foster sister Arpita is married to Anil Sharma's son, Aayush.
Himachal Pradesh, presently ruled by the Congress, will go to polls on on November 9 to elect its new 68-member assembly.
The result will be known on December 18.