Mandi, May 11
Veteran Congress leader from Himachal Pradesh and former Union minister Sukhram died early Wednesday at a Delhi hospital. He was 94. The Congress leader, who was airlifted and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi on May 7 after suffering a brain stroke in Manali in Himachal Pradesh, died at the hospital at 1:35 am, hospital sources said.
Sukhram's grandson Aashray Sharma said his body will be kept at Seri Manch in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi to enable people to pay their last respects on Thursday.
“Goodbye grandfather, the phone won't ring now (alvida dadajee, ab nahi bajegee phone ki ghanti),” Sharma said in a Facebook post around 2 am on Wednesday. Sukhram's body reached his home city Mandi by road from Delhi in the evening.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed condolences over Sukhram's demise. In a tweet in Hindi, he said, “I am grief stricken to hear the news of death of former union minister and veteran leader from Mandi Pandit Sukh Ram Jee.” His contribution to politics was very vital and will be always remembered, he said. “May Ishwar provide place to his departed soul at his feet and his bereaved family get strength to bear the irreparable loss,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress held a condolence meeting at its office in Shimla where its state president Pratibha Singh and other leaders paid homage to the departed leader. A two-minute silence was also observed on this occasion. The Himachal Congress will observe a seven-day mourning during which the party will not hold any programme in the state, the party said.
Sukhram was the Union minister of state for communications (independent charge) from 1993 to 1996. He won five assembly elections and was thrice elected to Lok Sabha. His son Anil Sharma is a BJP MLA from Mandi.
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