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Only MP Harsh Vardhan gets cabinet berth from Delhi


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Doctor-turned-politician Harsh Vardhan was the only MP from the national capital to get a place in Narendra Modi's council of ministers.
Delhi sends seven Lok Sabha MPs to the Lower House and BJP leaders and workers here were also expecting that the party's city unit chief Manoj Tiwari would also be given a place in Modi's cabinet.
Former Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel, who served as a minister of state in the previous Modi dispensation, also did not find a place in the list of new ministers.
Vardhan was appointed Minister of Health and Family Welfare during the Modi government's first stint in 2014 and later, given the charge of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology.
In May 2017, he was given the additional charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change following the death of Union minister Anil Madhav Dave.
In a triangular contest, Vardhan, 64, retained the Chandni Chowk seat by defeating his Congress rival JP Agarwal by a margin of 2.11 lakh votes.
Goel, a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, held the post of Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistic, and Programme Implementation, in the previous Modi government.
He was a late entrant in the previous Modi government and was accommodated in the council of ministers in July 2016.
The Delhi BJP office on Pant Marg here was charged with expectation that Tiwari could also be given a ministerial berth.
"He deserved a promotion as he has not only defeated a former chief minister (Sheila Dikshit) but also led the Delhi BJP in winning all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital," said a senior Delhi BJP leader.
However, both Tiwari and Goel are considered as competitors in the race for chief minister of Delhi, provided the BJP wins the assembly elections due in early 2020.
Goel was active in Delhi during campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls.
His activities include a sustained attack on the ruling Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal through various protests and events he holds separately along with his supporters.
As a local leader with in depth knowledge of Delhi politics, Goel is fond of reiterating that he was branded as the 8th Delhi BJP parliamentarian, making a distinction from party's local Lok Sabha MP in the national capital.

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First Published: May 30 2019 | 10:35 PM IST

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