New Delhi, Dec 8 (PTI) : Harsh Vardhan, anointed BJP's Chief Ministerial nominee less than a month before the Delhi Assembly polls after a bitter internal squabble, steadfastly united various factions to bring enthusiasm among workers to keep the party on course to regain power from Congress after 15 years.
An RSS member since his younger days, 59-year-old Vardhan, a practicing ENT surgeon known for his disarming simplicity, sucessfully connected with the voters while leading a high-voltage campaign from the front despite undercurrents of friction in the Delhi party unit.
People close to him said Vardhan's easy-going attitude and disarming smile were his greatest assets because of which the party drew support from various quarters, some of them unexpected.
Vardhan had entered the political fray in 1993 when he successfully contested the Assembly polls from Krishna Nagar constituency in East Delhi in 1993. He went on to retain the seat in the 1998, 2003 and 2008 assembly elections.
Fondly called “Doctor Saab” by supporters and opponents alike, Vardhan is known for his efforts in eradicating polio in Delhi when he was the Health Minister.
He is known to share a very cordial relationship with RSS and people close to him say he still retains the Swayamsevak's tendency to downplay the “Swayam” (self) giving precedence to ”Seva” (service).
Senior Delhi BJP leaders said his anointment to the top post has helped the party give a tough fight to both the greenhorn Aam Admi Party and Congress. In the campaigning, Vardhan attacked the Congress on range of issues including price rise, corruption, rising power tariff, scarcity of water, unemployment and promised to offer a clean government besides promising to slash by 30 per cent the power tariff, an emotive issue for Delhiites.
During his Ministership in the Delhi government (1993-98), people had found him remarkably accessible and officials respected him for his hands-on style of functioning.”He joined politics with the laudable objective of using his considerable medical knowledge and experience for serving the common man,” former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said once about Vardhan.