Delhi elections: Kiran Bedi joins BJP; Amit Shah says CM choice only after polls
Moving to meet the AAP challenge in Delhi, the BJP inducted on Thursday former IPS officer-turned-activist Kiran Bedi amid indications that she could be the chief ministerial choice of the party if it were to win the polls. “She will contest the Delhi Assembly elections,” BJP president Amit Shah told a press conference. That the party attached significance to her induction was evident from the presence there of finance minister Arun Jaitley, science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi BJP in-charge Prabhat Jha, state unit president Satish Upadhyay and Rajya Sabha member Vijay Goel.
Bedi, on her part, said: “I have come after meeting the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) along with Amit Shahji.” In effect, implying that she had Modi’s support and patronage. The party is also likely to induct former Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Prada and former AAP leader Shazia Ilmi. Asked if Bedi would be the party’s CM choice, Shah said the party parliamentary board will take a call only after the results. To another query on whether she would be fielded against AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, Shah said she will contest for sure but a decision on her seat would be taken later.
On her credentials for the CM job, Shah said “all BJP workers are qualified” for the post. Welcoming Bedi, Shah said the entire Delhi unit of the BJP was happy over the development and will “strengthen the state BJP”. “Kiranji’s constructive contribution will play an important role in ensuring that BJP lives up to the expectations of people in the election and in any future government,” he said. Jaitley described Bedi as an “able” administrator who had been “a crusader” both inside and outside the government. “She has experience in governance and enjoys a credible image… She is associated with certain values and has earned a name and a good image for herself,” he said.