'Party strong, ready to wrest Delhi'

Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan, who is also the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, may be in his final lap as the party’s top man in the Capital but he is sparing no opportunity to strengthen the organisation and draft a blueprint for its next electoral battle for the Delhi Assembly.

“This is the time to consolidate, strategise and take stock of the forces’ fire power,” says the practicing doctor, who virtually single-handed resurrected the party which was struggling to get rid of the Sheila Dikshit Congress government for over a decade.

Despite the Assembly elections in December last, the battle for “Delhi Darbar” is not over yet, admits Harsh Vardhan.

“On the last occasion, we managed to win over voters but fell short of numbers to form the government. In the next elections, we are going to work harder and form a majority government,” says the newly-elected Lok Sabha MP from Chandni Chowk seat.

The first-time parliamentarian admits that his new role as the country’s health minister is hectic but adds quickly that his experience as a former Delhi health minister is helping him deliver the goods.

Has the Central government assignment taken him away from the party’s Delhi unit affairs?

“Certainly not. I am trying to devote time to all responsibilities given to me by the party,” he says.

The doctor, who is credited with introducing the pulse polio drive in the country, says giving Delhiites a taste of good governance was the next big target before the BJP.

“Years of neglect have left people of Delhi dejected. We want to give a responsive government in the city, which would change the dynamics of politics and governance,” he says.

Harsh Vardhan sticks to his stand on ethical politics when it comes to government formation in the Capital which got a fractured mandate in the last Assembly polls.

“All this talk of our party planning to form government by manipulations is utter non-sense,” he says.

“Let me tell you, the BJP is stronger and more energised today in Delhi as compared to the last elections,” says Delhi unit chief, popular in political circles as the affable “Doctor Saab”.

On who will be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate if fresh elections are held, Harsh Vardhan says: “Only the party can decide on the issue.”

The former Geeta Colony legislator also refuses to speculate on when the next Assembly elections could be held.

“The party is ready to wrest Delhi, whenever the president decides to do so,” says Harsh Vardhan who is expected to pass the baton of the Delhi BJP chief to a successor in the coming days.

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