Delhi 2020

Bedi’s loss leaves BJP stunned

The People’s hero:Supporters seen during the celebrations at the Aam Admi Party office in East Patel Nagar on Tuesday.— Photo: Shanker Chakravarty  

While the Bharatiya Janata Party faced a huge setback in the Delhi Assembly elections, the bigger shock was its chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi losing from Krishna Nagar — a traditional stronghold of the party represented by Union Minister Harsh Vardhan since 1993.

Dr. Vardhan represented the seat till he was elected to the Lok Sabha last year.

While Ms. Bedi lost with just over 2,200 votes, the second-lowest margin in this election, the results were a rude shock for the BJP as Dr. Vardhan, the party’s chief ministerial candidate in 2013 who emerged victorious by over 45,000 votes.

“The seat was chosen for Ms. Bedi after lots of deliberations at the top-most level. Seats like Greater Kailash and her home seat Malviya Nagar were also discussed. However, her candidature from Krishna Nagar was decided as it is considered one of the safest seats for the BJP. But the result is surprising,” a senior Delhi BJP leader said.

In order to beat the outsider tag, the former IPS officer campaigned extensively in the constituency, unlike Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal, who was tied outside his New Delhi seat being the star campaigner for his party.

While BJP insiders ruled out sabotage from party workers, Ms. Bedi’s “arrogant” working style might have affected her prospects. In the last leg of the campaigning, the election assistant in her constituency, Narendra Tandon, resigned after accusing her of being “dictatorial”.

Mr. Tandon withdrew his resignation after the Central leadership intervened.

“Dr. Vardhan was by her side while she was campaigning in the constituency. Also, she spent considerable time in her constituency even on the polling day, so sabotage at the ground level seems difficult. The only possible reason that one can conclude is that she could not beat the outsider tag,” another senior BJP leader added.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 4:09:18 AM |

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