Taking on Kejriwal: Kiran Bedi joins BJP, to contest Delhi Assembly polls


January 15, 2015

NEW DELHI: Former IPS officer and anti-corruption activist Kiran Bedi on Thursday joined the BJP at a function held at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

January 15, 2015

NEW DELHI: Former IPS officer and anti-corruption activist Kiran Bedi on Thursday joined the BJP at a function held at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

After joining BJP, former IPS officer and anti-corruption activist Kiran Bedi said Narendra Modi’s dedication towards the country was changing the lives of many people in the country

Praising Bedi for her role as an IPS officer, BJP chief Amit Shah said: "I welcome her on behalf of the party and I believe that her joining the party will strengthen the Delhi unit especially ahead of the polls."

Shah also announced that Bedi would contest the elections but stopped short of announcing her as the CM candidate saying it was the parliamentary board that decides the CM.

"Leave it to the parliamentary board, let them decide who will be the CM," he said.

"I'm very grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who I met before coming here, for having me in the party. His dedication is changing the lives of many people in the country," Bedi said, thanking the party for accepting her membership.

"Those who wear the police uniform give themselves to the country. That's why I wore the uniform, Bedi added, promising a "stable, steady, strong, administrative, corruption free Delhi government."

Praising her role as a civil servant, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: "Bedi has an image of credibility and she has been seen as a crusader, both while she was serving and after retirement."

Besides Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, party leader Vijay Goel and several BJP Delhi members were present while the party made the announcement.

Bedi dialed the party's toll free number – launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – that enables an individual to join the party.

Over the last year, there has been speculation that the Delhi BJP would field her as its chief ministerial candidate.

Earlier today, news reports said Bedi would meet BJP president Amit Shah after a Delhi BJP election committee meeting at 6 pm this evening.

Ahead of the 2013 Assembly elections, speculation was rife that Bedi would join the party and be its face for the Assembly polls but the party chose to go with its senior Delhi leader and now Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan instead.

In May 2014, Bedi had said she was ready to be the CM candidate if such an offer was made to her. "I will consider myself to be ready for it if such an offer is made," Bedi had said when asked if she would be the candidate if fresh elections were announced.

But her bid to be CM was shot down by several BJP leaders who felt she was an 'outsider'.

Dr Vardhan, who was the BJP's chief ministerial candidate last year, told Firstpost, "See as far as my latest knowledge of state of affairs in my party goes this issue, (Kiran Bedi) is a non issue". Few other senior leaders had similar response: a clear 'No' to Bedi's chief ministerial ambition.

Bedi's soft-spot for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is no secret given her repeated statements urging voters to bring in change before the Lok Sabha polls, and as early as 10 January this year.

"Delhi must emphatically now opt for alignment with Centre of Power + Neighborhood for Stability, Development + Resources: Not for confrontation," Bedi tweeted.

In May, after Modi stormed to power, Bedi had tweeted: "I no more rule out entering Indian political service on capability basis. I am moving towards some flexibility in this."

Along with Bedi, who was earlier associated with social activist Anna Hazare, ex-AAP leader Shazia Ilmi as well as former Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Prada are also expected to join the party today.

Courtesy: Firstpost