New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi and Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday shared stage in Krishna Nagar constituency here ahead of the upcoming polls, quashing speculations of an alleged rift between both the party leaders.
Addressing a public gathering here, Bedi said, “I was hoping that Dr Harsh Vardhan would become the CM.”
Praising the former BJP`s Delhi unit chief, Bedi further said, “Will ensure mistakes aren't repeated. Had Harsh Vardhan been CM today, nation would have witnessed progress like never before,” ANI reported.
“I will come to file the nomination papers tomorrow,” Bedi added.
Minutes before Bedi's address, Vardhan, who was the party`s chief ministerial candidate for 2013 December polls, said, “It is a matter of happiness for me that Kiran ji is contesting from the area my sentiments are attached with.”
However, the BJP workers kept shouting slogans in support of party's Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay, showing their displeasure to party's decision to field the former cop from the seat before they were persuaded by both Vardhan and MP Maheish Girri.
Bedi was not even accorded any welcome in her first roadshow at Krishna Nagar constituency today.
Few hours prior to Bedi's road show, Upadhyay was today roughed up at the party headquarters in the national capital as clashes broke out between party workers over the ticket distribution for the upcoming polls.
Meanwhile, supporters of another ticket aspirant Sikha Rai, who is vice-president of Delhi BJP, also staged a protest at the Delhi BJP office openly slamming the senior leaders for denying tickets to her. Another BJP leader Dhir Singh Bidhuri quit the party after ticket was denied to him for the upcoming Assembly elections in the national capital.
Kiran Bedi, 65, is a former IPS officer and a social activist, who joined the BJP last week and will now contest from the Krishna Nagar constituency, traditionally a BJP stronghold and represented by senior leader Harsh Vardhan for five consecutive terms.
Meanwhile, as per reports, Vardhan's praise for Bedi may help the BJP to subside the growing dissent within the party. Elections are scheduled in the poll-bound capital city on February 7 which will be held in a single phase. The counting of votes are set to take place on February 10.
Last year, however, Vardhan had rubbished reports which claimed that Kiran Bedi may be named BJP`s next chief ministerial nominee. Even though, the former top cop at that that time was not even a party member.
As per reports, a storm was brewing in the BJP with many Delhi leaders allegedly threatening to "not cooperate" and even "lose deliberately" if Bedi was named the candidate for the post of the Delhi CM.
Interestingly, the pandemonium was caused by a tweet from fake Twitter account in Gadkari`s name in May 2014, wherein Gadkari announced Bedi as the party`s chief ministerial candidate who would take on Kejriwal in Delhi.
However, under Harsh Vardhan, BJP emerged as the single largest party in Delhi, in 2013 polls, by winning 31 of the 70 Assembly seats, but could not form a government as it failed to reach the halfway mark of 36.
(With Agency inputs)