After he took oath as minister of state (independent charge) in the Narendra Modi government, Gautam Buddh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma entered Noida, atop his car, while flowers rained down upon him. This is the third such victory rally for Sharma in the past two years.
Banking heavily on the urban voters in the newly carved Noida Assembly segment, Sharma became the first MLA of Noida, winning by a massive margin of more than 27,000 votes. In 2014, he won the Parliamentary elections, getting 50 per cent of the votes in the district.
As he entered the district from Delhi, he announced that he would continue to work on everyday issues faced by the people of Noida.
“Problems such as transportation, water and electricity are common to all places in NCR. These are my first priorities,” he said.
While these issues were the mainstay of his campaign in 2014, it was the crossing over of Congress candidate for Gautam Budh Nagar — Ramesh Chand Tomar — to the BJP a week before polling that truly tipped the scales in Sharma’s favour.
“It was a political masterstroke. He wanted to defect and we had realised it. It ensured an easy victory for the BJP since many traditional Congress voters automatically aligned with him,” a senior party leader said.
Sharma, the chairman and managing director of Kailash Healthcare Limited, is synonymous with the chain of hospitals in Uttar Pradesh. A senior BJP leader said this association with the hospital — which continues to provide emergency services and medical treatment at reduced cost for the poor — is an important factor in his political success.
“People know him as doctor saab. He has worked hard for the district and most of the goodwill he has among voters can be traced to the two hospitals in Noida and Greater Noida,” a district BJP leader said.
While scenes of celebration could be seen at both hospitals, Sharma went to the Sector-19 temple with his wife Uma Sharma, his daughter and mother.
The 55-year-old, who emerged as one the richest candidates in the 2014 elections in UP with declared assets of over Rs 47 crore, is likely to organise a number of campaigns for the party in the coming Assembly elections. But he maintained that his prime focus would continue to be Gautam Buddh Nagar.
“One of the first things I want to do is finalise the blueprint for the village under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. I have always believed in working hard and I will continue to do so,” he said.