Harsh Vardhan takes Metro, asks people to join PM’s rally
Delhi Metro had a special traveller on Saturday afternoon when none other than Union environment minister and the BJP’s candidate from Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency Harsh Vardhan boarded a train from Pitampura station.
Dressed in a blue T-shirt that read ‘Keep Calm and trust NAMO’, Vardhan greeted commuters and urged them, his hands folded, to come to Ramila Maidan on May 8.
While commuters seemed to be happy having a Union minister as their fellow passegner, they could not figure out why they were needed at Ramilia Maidan. And before they could ask, the minister had moved to another compartment, with a similar request.
“What is at the Ramlia ground, sir?” a young man finally asked him. “Prime Minister aa rahe hain, ap sabko pahuchna hai. (The PM is coming, all of you have to be there),” Vardhan said, holding on to the handrail as the train hurtled ahead.
A handful of BJP workers, sporting saffron scarves and lotus-shaped badges, soon started distributing orange and green coloured pamphlets to the passengers. The pamphlets read ‘Jansabha mein aap sab ka swagat hai’ ( All of you are welcome to the rally).
“I don’t know where he is contesting from. But I know he is a doctor who was also the health minister once,” said Manjul Pandey, 18, an engineering student, who will be voting for the first time in the 2019 elections. He was happy that the minister had shaken hands with him.
As the minister was engaged in conversation with an elderly citizen — telling him about his tenure as Delhi’s health minister, when he was widely credited for Pulse Polio — a few men in safari suits, along with a few armed men in khaki uniform come along and asked the minister to move away. Apparently, several people had stepped into his security ring.
“It was nice of a minister to travel in the Metro a. I hope other candidates too make such an effort. He has always been humble,” said Vinay Tiwari, 61, who retired from government service last year.
Gurvinder Singh, 41, could not stop himself antd clicked a selfie with the minister. He then quickly called up home to share the news ad shared the picture on Facebook.
An ENT surgeon by training, Vardhan, 64, is originally a resident of east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar from where he successfully fought five consecutive assembly elections between 1993 and 2013.
Vardhan was also the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the 2013 Delhi elections. He went on to contest his first parliamentary election in 2014.
“It is not the first time that I have taken the Metro. I thought it was a good medium to connect with the people. I wanted to inform people about the mega rally. I was overwhelmed by their response. We are convinced of winning all seven seats in Delhi,” said Vardhan, as he swiped his Metro smart card to exit the Kashmere Gate metro station.