HomeIndiaPolitical Success Story: Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, From Humble Beginnings, A Journey To...

Political Success Story: Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, From Humble Beginnings, A Journey To The Top Of Himachals Political Ladder

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New Delhi: The narrative of Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, the 58-year-old Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, is a tale not just of humble beginnings leading to political prominence. It’s a noteworthy anomaly in Indian politics for the son of a driver, Sukhu, to ascend to the position of Chief Minister, especially considering the privileged backgrounds of many of his predecessors. For instance, his political adversary, the late Virbhadra Singh, a six-time Congress Chief Minister, hailed from a royal family in upper Himachal.

In contrast, Sukhu’s father, Rasil Singh, worked as a driver in Himachal Roadways, supporting a family of four. Despite his ordinary roots, Sukhu’s hometown, Nadaun in Hamirpur district, witnessed his election as MLA in 2003, and subsequently in 2007, 2017, and 2022.

However, Sukhu’s modest upbringing is only one facet of his story, and remarkably, he has never instrumentalized it strategically in his political career. His political journey commenced organically in the 1980s as a youth leader in the National Student Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress. He then served as the president of the Youth Congress for nearly a decade.

A law graduate from Himachal University, Sukhu entered electoral politics as a councillor in the Shimla municipal body in 1992, a position he held until 2002, before joining the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha in 2003. His rise in politics is attributed to astuteness and perseverance, navigating the Congress dominated by Virbhadra at the time.

Choosing his hometown, Hamirpur, as his political battleground, Sukhu confronted the stronghold of another political veteran, Prem Kumar Dhumal. Surviving the challenges posed by both leaders was a significant achievement.

Sukhu’s pivotal role as the Himachal Congress president from 2013 to 2019 strengthened his influence within the party and garnered public support. He adopted an issue-based narrative rather than a confrontational approach, maintaining prominence even after being replaced by Virbhadra in 2019.

Post the 2022 assembly election, Sukhu’s loyalty to the Gandhi family played a crucial role in his elevation to the Chief Minister’s position. His background as an organizational figure, balancing the party’s interests and public sentiment, contributed to his favorable image. Additionally, his Rajput identity aligned with the electoral trend in Himachal, where most Chief Ministers, except for one exception, belonged to the Rajput community. This tradition continues with Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu at the helm.



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