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Kiran Bedi joins BJP, to be party’s face in Delhi poll

Former IPS officer and Indian Against Corruption member Kiran Bedi on Thursday joined the BJP and is likely to contest from either New Delhi or Krishna Nagar seat. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal is sitting MLA from New Delhi whereas Krishna Nagar is union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan’s bastion.

Political observers feel that the BJP will use Bedi as a ‘trump card’ to counter AAP in the capital. Once close to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, BJP is hopeful that Bedi will effectively take on Kejriwal. Bedi joined the party in the presence of finance minister Arun Jaitley, party president Amit Shah, Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan’s beside others.

“I am in a Mission Mode and thankful to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving me an opportunity to give back what I have learnt from my experience. I will give what Delhi needs - clear-headed, stable government. I have more than 40 years of administrative experience in Delhi, Mizoram and Goa. I am here to dedicate whatever I have learnt from others to Delhi,” Bedi said. “I joined BJP due to the inspirational leadership of Modi,” she added.

On Kiran Bedi joining politics, AAP leader Kejriwal tweeted he was happy with the move. “I have been fond of Kiran Bedi ji. I always tried to convince her that she should join politics. I am happy she did it today.”

On the context of whether she will be the Chief Ministerial candidate, Shah said, “The decision to consider her as BJP’s Delhi CM candidate will be taken by the party’s parliamentary board and will be announced at the right time. Kiranji will contest polls and name of CM candidate will be announced after election results are out. But I would like to say that her induction will hugely strengthen ourDelhi unit,” he added.

The party president, however, refused to divulge details of the constituency from which she will fight. Praising her as an excellent administrator, Jaitley said, “The party had been in touch with her and her joining it will make the party stronger. She has experience in governance and enjoys a credible image. She is associated with certain values. She has been a crusader in government as well as outside it for a long time.”

Meanwhile, beside Bedi, three AAP leaders Shakil Anjum Dehlavi (Matia Mahal), Farhana Anjum (Ballimaran) and Ishrat Ali Ansari (Krishna Nagar) also joined BJP. All of them were candidates during the Delhi assembly elections in 2013.

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