Millennium Post

Kejriwal ready for Bedi challenge

Hitting out at former aides Kiran Bedi and Shazia Ilmi for accusing Aam Aadmi Party of doing "negative" politics, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said it is not tolerated when a common man tries to come to power. Kejriwal said he was fighting to make Delhi a better place while the Bharatiya Janata Party is fighting to defeat him.

"From the Ramlila Maidan the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and today Kiran ji and Shazia also said that we do negative politics. But my question is people who loot the nation come to power and nobody says anything, but when a common man wants to come to power, it is not even tolerated?" Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.

The AAP leader's reaction assumes significance as for the second consecutive day the BJP tried to give AAP a jolt when his former aide Shazia Ilmi joined the saffron party. Kiran Bedi, the former IRS officer's one-time colleague in Team Anna, had on Thursday joined the BJP. Kejriwal said that defeating him was the BJP's one-point agenda.

"I want to make Delhi a better place and I am fighting for that while the BJP is fighting as it wants to defeat me," he tweeted. The former Delhi chief minister said that he was fighting the election on issues. "AAP is doing positive politics. We say we will open 20 new colleges, we will improve government schools, will have CCTVs across Delhi for women's security, will improve the infrastructure of villages in Delhi. "We have an elaborate plan on women's security, to stop corruption and inflation," Kejriwal told reporters.

A day after joining BJP, Kiran Bedi on Friday said she was ready to contest against Arvind Kejriwal, AAP chief and her former Team Anna colleague, in the Delhi Assembly polls, if her party wants. She rebutted AAP's criticism over changing her stand on not joining politics, saying she was free to make her own choices and her "aversion" was gone due to Modi's leadership. "The constituency selection is always a decision of party. I will go by their decision. If they want me to fight against him, I will do so. Because they know better than I do.

They haven't brought me to lose, they have brought me to win," the former IPS officer said when asked whether she is likely to be pitted against Kejriwal in the upcoming polls. The AAP had yesterday termed her joining BJP as "shocking".

"It is sad and shocking that Bedi who had been maintaining that she will always remain apolitical and keep raising the issues of people has joined the BJP. Our best wishes are with her," party leader Sanjay Singh had said.

"I do not wish to go into the past. I am in present and looking towards future. I have a right to make my own choices and nobody can question that. I want to lead my life as per my own wish," Bedi on Friday retorted.

Kejriwal and Bedi were part of the the core team of activist Anna Hazare who had spearheaded a massive agitation to press for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. The two had parted ways in 2012 after Kejriwal's decision to float a political party.

"I am not here to win or lose. I am here to see that the party wins. If I win I am excellent, if I don't win I still win. I have so much to go back to," Bedi said on Friday.

Bedi, however, didn't respond to queries whether her entry in BJP is likely to play a gamechanger.

"Time will tell. We need a stable government in Delhi. A year has passed and we have paid a huge price," she said. Bedi, who had been hailing Modi and supporting BJP through her Twitter posts since the start of campaign for Lok Sabha polls last year, said, "The change of leadership made me change my mind. The way Narendra Modi is changing the world around. The way NRIs are flocking into the country to invest now and the way the nation's hopes have been revived, the aversion has gone"
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