Former minister’s daughter Champa Thakur says lighting of candle ahead of MLA was not intentional
The Newz Radar
Mandi: Mandi, a city in Himachal Pradesh, became the site of a heated confrontation between BJP MLA Anil Sharma and Congress leader Champa Thakur, the daughter of former minister Kaul Singh Thakur, during a government programme.
The drama unfolded when Champa Thakur, in a breach of protocol, lit the ceremonial lamp before MLA Anil Sharma, causing discontent and leading to a public exchange between the two.
The event, organised as part of the “Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child” campaign, took place at the Cultural Hall of Mandi. Health Minister Dr Dhaniram Shandil, serving as the chief guest, attended the programme along with several Congress leaders, including Champa Thakur, and MLA Anil Sharma. According to the prescribed protocol, Health Minister Shandil was designated to perform the ritual of lighting the lamp.
However, Champa Thakur took it upon herself to initiate the ceremony, lighting the lamp prematurely. She then handed the candle to former CPS Sohan Lal Thakur, bypassing MLA Anil Sharma.
Upon receiving the candle, Sohan Lal Thakur passed it to MLA Anil Sharma, instructing him to proceed with the lighting. Clearly displeased by the protocol violation, MLA Anil Sharma voiced his discontent, stating, “One should be aware of the protocol during such events.”
Following his remark, he proceeded to light the lamp. Anil Sharma later approached Champa Thakur and expressed his strong disapproval of her actions, emphasising the significance of adhering to the protocol in such formal settings.
Tensions have persisted between the families of Anil Sharma and Kaul Singh Thakur, Champa Thakur’s father, dating back to the time of Anil Sharma’s late father Pandit Sukh Ram.
Champa Thakur has contested elections against MLA Anil Sharma twice as a Congress candidate, while Anil Sharma ran under the BJP banner. However, Champa Thakur faced defeat in both instances.
Despite the political rivalry, it is essential to acknowledge that the government programme in question was organised under the auspices of the Congress-led state government, with Anil Sharma, as the MLA from the region, in attendance.
Champa Thakur, in response to the incident, expressed regret for any unintended offence caused by her actions. She clarified that her decision to light the lamp ahead of MLA Anil Sharma was not driven by any ill intentions but rather an impromptu act stemming from her enthusiasm for the cause of empowering girls and raising awareness about gender equality.
Champa Thakur stated, “I apologise if my actions were misconstrued. My sole objective was to support the ‘Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child’ campaign, and I did not mean to disregard any established protocols. I hold deep respect for all the dignitaries present, including MLA Anil Sharma, and I regret any misunderstanding that may have arisen.”
Champa Thakur further reiterated her commitment to the cause of women’s empowerment and pledged to continue working towards the betterment of society, regardless of political differences.