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"I'm Against Corruption"

Former Union telecommunication minister Sukh Ram has virtually come out of political oblivion to launch the Himachal Vikas Congress. Having been expelled from the Congress and chargesheeted in the tele -com scam, his political career had virtually be

INTERVIEWS Sukh Ram | 23 July 1997
"I'm Against Corruption"
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You have said that your party will fight corruption. Do you have the moral right to undertake such a task when you are one of the accused in the telecom scandal?

I am innocent till proven guilty. So even though I have cases against me, I have every right to fight against corruption. And I am not the only politician who has been charged. Many other Congressmen and BJP leaders had cases against them. They did not give up politics.

Your target seems to be the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh. You seem to have some scores to settle with him.

I have nothing against Virbhadra Singh as a person. But I am very much against corruption in his government. I will do all I can to expose the corrupt. Also, he has been neglecting the Mandi region. I have decided to fight for the people of Mandi. As a party, we are for the development of Himachal and we will keep that as our primary objective.

Your USP seems to be the telecom revolution that you have brought about in the state.

Yes, I have sanctioned lakhs and lakhs of new connections in the state. There are 2,800 villages in Himachal and each one of them has a telephone. This is an achievement I am very proud of.

Are you happy with the response to your new party?

Frankly, I did not expect more than 800 people to turn up. But close to 5,000 people turned up. This, despite efforts by the state administration to prevent the people from attending the meeting. People have nevertheless come from all corners of the state. This has been very encouraging.

Your supporters call you the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. Do you see any possibility of that happening?

Well, if the people want me to, it can happen. But I did not think of any such thing when I thought of starting the party. As I said, my primary aim is to work for the betterment of the people.

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