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Saturday, May 18, 2024

BJP List for Lok Sabha Polls: Former Union Minister Harsh Vardhan Quits Politics

Harsh Vardhan, a former cabinet minister and two-time MP, has declared his desire to leave politics and return to his medical career after being excluded from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s list of 195 candidates for the 2017 Lok Sabha elections.

“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,” the former health minister said in an emotional message shared on his social media page.

The BJP has chosen Praveen Khandelwal as its candidate for the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat, replacing Harsh Vardhan.

“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,” wrote the former health minister in Narendra Modi’s government.

Harsh Vardhan was replaced by Mansukh Mandaviya in mid-2021 during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. He was removed from the council of ministers as part of a reshuffle.

“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,” the Delhi MP wrote.

Harsh Vardhan said he will continue in his efforts to combat tobacco and substance abuse, address climate change, and advocate for straightforward and sustainable lifestyles.

“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 wrote.

Shake-up in Delhi

In addition to Harsh Vardhan’s seat, the BJP has introduced significant changes in its lineup for Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, replacing four sitting MPs among the five candidates named.

• West Delhi Seat: Kamaljeet Sehrawat replaces two-term MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma.

• New Delhi Lok Sabha Constituency: Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of the late BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, has been nominated, leaving out union minister Meenakshi Lekhi.

• South Delhi Seat: Ramvir Singh Bidhuri has been named the BJP candidate in place of Ramesh Bidhuri.

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