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Kiran Bedi is BJP’s CM candidate

BJP president Amit Shah with former IPS officer and Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly Kiran Bedi during a press conference in New Delhi. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

BJP president Amit Shah with former IPS officer and Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly Kiran Bedi during a press conference in New Delhi. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

In a clear message to party leaders and the rank and file to fall in line, the BJP on Monday declared India’s first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi as its chief ministerial candidate in Delhi and made her in charge of the campaign committee. She will contest from the Krishna Nagar seat.

"The BJP will contest the Delhi elections under the leadership of Mrs Kiran Bedi and she is also the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate," BJP president Amit Shah declared after the meeting of the Parliamentary Board.

He said she will contest from Krishna Nagar which is a "traditional" seat of the BJP. In the last election Harsh Vardhan had won from here. He later contested the Lok Sabha election.

Departing from its practice of not naming a chief ministerial candidate, Ms. Bedi’s name was declared ahead of voting on February 7 to quell >dissenting voices in the party and also to counter Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal who is ahead of others in several pre-poll surveys.

"I am very grateful to the leaders and would like to thank the party leadership," Ms. Bedi said on hearing the news.

The party’s Parliamentary Board, of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a member, took the decision in its meeting on Monday. The Board is chaired by BJP President Amit Shah. "The decision was unanimous," Mr. Shah said adding that he had consulted party leaders and none had any problem with Ms. Bedi being projected as the chief ministerial candidate.

This is the first time since the Narendra Modi government came to power that the party has declared a chief ministerial candidate. When asked about it, Mr. Shah said, the party has to take decisions looking to the atmosphere in each state which is a clear indication that all is not well in the party.

He said Ms. Bedi is India’s first woman IPS officer who devoted her life to fighting corruption and crime. She is a MA and has a law degree. After retiring from police job she took to social work and runs two NGOs.

"I believe she will fulfil the aspirations of the people of Delhi and bring victory for the BJP. After this authorised declaration every worker will go into elections with a new energy."

To a question on why the party had ignored other leaders to give the top job to a rank outsider, Mr. Shah said the party has launched a massive membership drive to bring in new faces. "We have to give place to them in the party."

Till recently Ms. Bedi, 65, was in the rival camp as a member of the erstwhile India Against Corruption and held the stage along with Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in their fight against corruption.

She joined the BJP last week and declared that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is her "inspiration".

Born on June 9, 1945, in Amritsar (Punjab), Ms. Bedi joined the police service in 1972 and was an inspiration to lakhs of people as the first woman officer in the IPS.

She shot to fame after she ordered, as Traffic Police Chief, the crane-lifting of a wrongly-parked vehicle of the Prime Minister’s Office during Indira Gandhi’s rule which won her the nickname, 'Crane' Bedi.

She was virtually handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to lead the party to victory in the Delhi Assembly polls.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 9:30:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/assembly2014/Former-IPS-officer-Kiran-Bedi-is-Chief-Ministerial-candidate-says-BJP-chief-Amit-Shah/article60515235.ece