Former Union health minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament from Chandni Chowk Harsh Vardhan on Sunday announced his retirement from politics after 30 years of electoral career, adding that he would be returning to his ENT clinic at Krishna Nagar in east Delhi.

In a post on social media website X, Vardhan said: “After over thirty years of a glorious electoral career, during which I won all the five assemblies 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 development came a day after BJP announced its first list Lok Sabha candidates for the upcoming general elections, including five for Delhi. Vardhan, who has held the Chandni Chowk constituency has been replaced by Praveen Khandelwal, a trader activist, as the new candidate.

Earlier on Saturday, sitting East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir also took to X saying he has requested party national president JP Nadda to relieve him of political duties as he wanted to focus on cricket commitments. Similarly, Hazaribagh (Jharkhand) MP Jayant Sinha also requested Nadda to relieve him so he could focus on combating global climate change.

“Without remorse, I must say that it has been a marvelous innings during which my passion to serve the common man was quenched. I served as Delhi health minister as well as the Union health minister twice... I had the rare opportunity 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,” Vardhan wrote.

“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. I shall continue to pursue my work against tobacco and substance abuse, against climate change and teaching simple and sustainable lifestyles... My ENT clinic at Krishna Nagar too awaits my return,” he concluded in the post.

He had served as the minister of health and family welfare, minister of science and technology and minister of earth sciences. He also represented East Delhi’s Krishna Nagar as an MLA from 1993 to 2014.

Commenting on the development, Delhi minister Atishi said that Vardhan is known for his honesty, hard work and speaking for the public. “If Dr Vardhan’s ticket has been cut, it is clear he has been denied the ticket may be because of his honesty... just like he was removed as health minister for raising some issues,” said Atishi.

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2024-03-04T00:12:20Z dg43tfdfdgfd