Mohammad Sualeheen, 66, does not remember the last time he met his childhood friend Harsh Vardhan.
BJP workers smear colours on Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan during Holi celebrations at the party office in New Delhi (PTI file photo)
Vardhan is now the BJP’s candidate from the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency.
But Sualeheen is excited about meeting him after many decades. On Saturday, Vardhan will kickstart his campaign from his birthplace — Fatak Teliyan in Chandni Chowk’s Turkman Gate.
Vardhan too is excited over this homecoming of sorts. “It’s feeling as I will be reunited with my lost brother. We used to play gilli-danda together at Ramlila Maidan. His coming back to the neighbourhood after so many years has brought back many memories. His choosing to start his campaign from this area is a proud moment for us,” Sualeheen told HT.
The house in which Vardhan’s family lived is now occupied by a Muslim family. “We feel the BJP should be given a chance. Harsh Vardhan has a clean image and has done a lot for the city. We need more such people. It is a matter of pride that I’m living in the house where he had spent his childhood,” said Imran Khan.
Sources said Harsh Vardhan’s old house will be decorated on Saturday morning as a number of people are expected to be present there.
After the news of Harsh Vardhan visiting the area arrived, small groups of people in Fatak Teliyan were seen discussing the BJP’s prospects in this Lok Sabha election. Most of the residents of the area are into the business of producing sign boards.
“We will support Harsh Vardhan as he stands for development. We don’t believe in the politics of religion. We have seen his work when he was the health minister and we are confident that he will ensure the area is developed further,” said Wasim Ahmed, a resident of the area.
The Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency has approximately 15 per cent Muslim voters who will play a crucial role in the elections.
Although Congress candidate Kapil Sibal had termed Harsh Vardhan an outsider, the latter said that Sibal and AAP’s Ashutosh were the real outsiders as he was a local of the area.