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Kiran Bedi will be declared CM candidate in Delhi: BJP leader

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By EMN Updated: Jan 19, 2015 10:42 pm
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Agencies
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 19

While speculation remains rife over Kiran Bedi’s role in Delhi assembly elections, senior party leader Anil Jain confirmed the party would take the electoral plunge after declaring the former top cop as its chief ministerial face.
According to Jain, who is also the member of BJP’s core committee handling Delhi polls, the dominant view within the party was to let Bedi not only be the vanguard of party’s campaign in Delhi, but also to declare her as the CM candidate.The party will also finalise on Monday the list of star campaigners as Jain said the BJP has planned over 200 rallies and sabhas in the capital. The leader also confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies would start immediately after January 26.
“I had, along with some others, suggested party president Amit Shah that Delhi is an altogether different ballgame than Haryana, Maharashtra or Jharkhand where going faceless gave us a clear advantage and we were able to post historic victories. The demography of Delhi is different and the electorate will appreciate a concrete CM face,” said Jain, who is largely considered as one of the chief architects of BJP’s victory in Haryana.
Another senior Delhi BJP leader hinted at the reason that informed the shift in the party’s strategy away from going faceless so far in other assembly elections.
He said having a CM candidate was a political safety valve in case the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) performs well or goes past the BJP’s tally of seats with the contest being projected as one directly between Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Modi. “The scenario of AAP bagging more seats or a number comparable to us is exceptionally remote, but if that happens for any reason with the BJP projecting Delhi as a referendum between Kejriwal and Modi, we will have suffered a huge loss,” the leader said.
BJP sources said while the party was aware of Bedi’s meteoric image, she was expected to follow party line without rocking the current BJP juggernaut.
List for clarity
The much-awaited list is likely to be made public after the BJP’s Central Election Committee meeting where senior leaders including Prime Minister Modi and Shah are expected to deliberate on the poll strategy.
The fight for Delhi is crucial for the BJP and a win here would cap off a brilliant run in assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and J-K. But senior party leaders are worried the selection chaos could affect the results.
However, with less than three weeks to go for the elections, the Delhi BJP seems to be in disarray, and has been dogged by infighting and lack of clarity. A south Delhi rally by Shah had to be cancelled on Saturday due to lack of coordination in the party’s city unit.
Confusion over the CM nominee and lack of movement on candidate selection has created chaos in the city unit, BJP sources said.
According to a section of party leaders, the induction of Bedi has made matters murkier as she is being positioned as the face of the party without officially being named its CM pick.
However, another section feels the BJP now has a prominent face in Delhi who can woo the youth, women, middle-class and service class as well as Sikh voters in the national capital.
BJP parliamentarian (northeast Delhi) and Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari said the local unit will work with the person chosen as the CM pick by the high command.
“Party is doing well. We are happy that people are joining us. We will all fight with ‘Chalo Chale Modi’ slogan.”
BJP leader Jagdish Mukhi said, “People in Delhi have three options: corrupt Congress, anarchist AAP or BJP, which does work.”
The BJP is still the party to beat in the polls, and is ahead of the rival AAP in surveys. But the lack of clarity is what is making party workers increasingly confused and de-motivated, sources said.
On the other hand, BJP leaders pointed out, the AAP and the Congress have already declared their candidates, many of whom have started campaigning and filed their nominations. For the December 2013 polls, the BJP had wrapped up its candidate selection a month in advance. Elections to 70-member Delhi assembly will be held on February 7 and results would be announced on February 10. Nominations can be filed up to January 22.

BJP has saved the country: Kiran Bedi

Agencies
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 19

Former cop and social activist, Kiran Bedi who recently joined the BJP said on Monday that she had finally taken the political plunge as it was the right time to do so.
In an exclusive interview to Zee Media, Bedi said, “There is a right time for everything, one should believe in that. I believe in that,” and added, “During 2014 Lok Sabha polls, politics was not on my mind and neither was it when I was part of the Anna Hazare movement.”
On talks about being offered the top post in Delhi by the Aam Aadmi Party a year back, the BJP leader said that it used to come in the media that AAP may have wanted to project her as the CM but no one approached her directly or phoned her.
Asked to why she was given the offer by the BJP to join the party, she said, “Maybe they thought that I was ready to dedicate myself to politics.”
Bedi emphasised that it was time to do something for Delhi, “We have to link Delhi with the Central government. Enough of agitation,” and questioned, “What did we get in the past one year, election once again after one year.”
“I am from Delhi. I gave it a thought as to whether I should consider taking up the invitation. I thought what kind of Delhi I wanted and if I could give anything to the city,” she further said.
Bedi revealed that she had questioned herself as to whether she could give anything to Delhi. “I have been a social activist but I wondered if I could widen my horizon and do I have the willingness to do so. I left it on my soul and my soul told me to widen my horizon if I wanted India to develop.”
“If India has to improve then Delhi cannot be disturbed. If Delhi is disturbed then India is disturbed. Economy gets affected. Whatever happens in Delhi makes international news. The Nirbhaya case had affected tourism all over the country,” she opined.
On a philosophical note she said, “There is a time when your thinking changes.”
Bedi maintained that she wanted to make Delhi safe. “I have been doing social service for years. Thus, I thought if I could give more to the country then why not,” she said.
Regarding criticism by the Opposition that she had been imported by the BJP as it did not have a face in Delhi, she dismissed it by saying, “That is their politics.” Asked as to why she had decided to join the BJP she said, “Since I have been watching the BJP, it is very organised, this party has saved the country today. The dedication of its workers is unparalleled and so is its moral values.”
“And its leadership is in safe and competitive hands. This is taking India towards change, it is changing India’s fate,” Bedi emphasised.

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By EMN Updated: Jan 19, 2015 10:42:05 pm