Veteran Congress neta & family loyalist Satish Sharma dies at 73 | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Captain Satish Sharma, veteran Congress functionary better known as Rajiv Gandhi’s friend and a Gandhi family loyalist, died in Goa following an illness. Sharma, 73, was a former union minister and a former member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well.
Senior Congress members as well as young members paid rich tributes to Sharma, who once was a strong power centre in the grand old party by virtue of his proximity to the first family. His loyalist status is attested to by the fact that after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, he contested the Amethi LS constituency and then became the minister for petroleum. His tenure later came under scrutiny for allotment of petrol pumps as part of political patronage. In 1999, after he had lost Amethi seat to BJP’s Sanjay Singh, he was shifted to Rae Bareli constituency which too was part of the Gandhi family fief. The man who quit a flying career to come into politics became quite a high flier in Congress regime.
Besides being revered and feared in equal measure in the party, Sharma was also known as the man with party’s interests at heart. He was best known as Rajiv Gandhi’s troubleshooter too. But in the 90s, Sharma also drew scrutiny for his opulent lifestyle that became big media stories. He returned to spotlight when Congress as the leader of UPA returned to power in 2004 and stayed on top till 2014, though he never made it to the Cabinet. His innings ended when in 2016 he wasn’t given another term in RS.

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