Ram Babu Sharma passes away

Ram Babu Sharma

Ram Babu Sharma  

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Former Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president and Rohtas Nagar MLA Ram Babu Sharma passed away early on Wednesday morning. He was 54. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Mr. Sharma had been admitted to Apollo Hospital here a fortnight ago. He had been battling cancer for many years. After an operation a few years ago he had regained good health, but in the past year his vocal chords had again been impacted.

Despite his deteriorating health he had fought the Delhi Assembly election last year and won. And in a brave gesture he had also taken the oath as a member of the Delhi Assembly despite facing acute difficulty in speaking.

Mr. Sharma had risen up the political ladder at a rapid pace over the past decade. Starting out as a student leader, he had also served as president of the East Delhi Youth Congress and the District Congress. In 1997, he contested the Municipal Corporation of Delhi election from Nand Nagri and won. He became Leader of the Opposition in the MCD in 1998. In 2002 he was re-elected and became Leader of the House and Chairman of the MCD Standing Committee. Then in 2003 he got elected to the Delhi Assembly from Rohtas Nagar and in November 2004 became DPCC president. It was during his term as Delhi Congress chief that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had faced the toughest dissidence in her ten-year rule.

While one by one her other opponents saw the futility of opposing her, Mr. Sharma remained the last man standing and did not budge from his stance. He was removed from the post of DPCC president after the Congress lost the MCD elections in 2007.

His forthright nature won him many friends and admirers. And this showed on Wednesday at the DPCC headquarters – the building which came up during his tenure as PCC president. His body was kept in state here for an hour and a large number of party leaders and workers paid homage. Among those who paid their respects to Mr. Sharma here were DPCC president J. P. Agarwal, Ms. Dikshit, AICC general secretaries Janardhan Dwivedi and Mukul Wasnik, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora, Union Minister Ambika Soni, Delhi MPs Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and Sandeep Dikshit, Delhi Assembly Speaker Yoganand Shastri and all Ministers. From here, the mortal remains were taken to Nigambodh Ghat.

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