Denied Lok Sabha ticket from Chandni Chowk, BJP MP Harsh Vardhan bows out of active politics


PTI, Mar 3, 2024, 6:02 PM IST

With sitting MP Harsh Vardhan’s name not figuring from his Chandni Chowk constituency in the list of candidates announced by the BJP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, he on Sunday announced bowing out of active politics.

In a long post on X, Vardhan said he will return to his roots after over 30 years of a ”glorious electoral career”.

Looking back at his journey, he said, ”I shall continue to pursue my work against tobacco and substance abuse, against climate change and teaching simple and sustainable lifestyles.” ”After over thirty years of a glorious electoral career, during which I won all the five assembly and two parliamentary elections that I fought with exemplary margins, and held a multitude of prestigious positions in the party organisation and the governments at the state and centre I finally bow out to return to my roots,” he said on X.

In the first list of 195 candidates declared by the BJP, Praveen Khandelwal has been fielded from Chandni Chowk, a seat which Vardhan holds at present.

The former Union minister said service to mankind was his motto when he joined MBBS in GSVM Medical College, Kanpur 50 years back with a desire to help the poor and needy.

”A swayamsewak at heart, I have always been an ardent admirer of Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji’s Antodaya philosophy of striving to serve the last man in the queue. It was at the insistence of the then RSS leadership that I jumped into the electoral fray.

”They could convince me only because for me politics meant opportunity to fight our three main enemies – poverty, disease and ignorance,” he said in the same post.

The MP said he had twice served as Delhi health minister and Union health minister.

”Without remorse, I must say that it has been a marvellous innings during which my passion to serve the common man was quenched. I served as Delhi Health Minister as well as twice Union Health Minister, a subject close to my heart.

”I had the rare opportunity bestowed upon me to be able to first work towards creating a Polio free Bharat and then to take care of the health of millions of our countrymen grappling with the dreaded COVID-19 during its first and second phases,” he recalled.

He said it was a great privilege to work with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

”I must acknowledge that I consider it a great privilege to have worked closely with the most dynamic Prime Minister in India’s history, Shri Narendra Modi ji. The country wishes him a heroic return to power again,” he said.

In the long history of mankind, only a few have been granted the privilege to defend their people in hours of gravest danger, he said, adding that he can proudly claim that he did not shirk responsibility, but welcomed it.

”My gratitude to Ma Bharati, my reverence to my fellow citizens and my obeisance to the values enshrined in our Constitution. And yes, that was the biggest privilege that Bhagwan Shri Ram bestowed upon me, the privilege of being able to save human lives !!” he said.

He signed off with the famous lines by Robert Frost.

”I move on, I really can’t wait. I have promises to keep .. and miles to go before I sleep !! I have a dream .. and I know your blessings shall always remain with me . My ENT clinic at Krishna Nagar too awaits my return,” he said.

In 2014, Vardhan had defeated Kapil Sibal, then with the Congress, to win the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat while in the 2019 polls, he trounced Congress’ Jai Prakash Agarwal.

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