Kiran Bedi joins BJP: As it Happened
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday, ahead of Delhi Assembly Election scheduled on February 7.
- Reacting to Bedi's induction into the BJP, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter asking whether she will be able to save BJP's sinking ship in Delhi.
बिखरी हुई, हारती हुई, दिशाहीन और आपस में लडती हुई दिल्ली भाजपा के जहाज को क्या किरण जी बचा पाएंगी- ये असल प्रश्न है।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 15, 2015
- BJP leader Vijay Goel, on his official Facebook page, welcomed Kiran Bedi into Bharatiya Janata Party and said, "I am certain that under her inspirational leadership, BJP will win the forthcoming elections and Delhi will grow."
- With our team work, we will work towards a steady, stable, strong and corruption-free government: Kiran Bedi
- I am in Mission Mode, says Bedi.
- I am thankful to the BJP for giving me an opportunity to give back what I have learnt from my experience: Bedi
- I will give what Delhi needs - clear-headed, stable government, says Bedi.
- I have more than 40 years of administrative experience in Delhi, Mizoram, Goa. I am here to dedicate whatever I have learnt from others to Delhi: Bedi
- The inspiration I got after after May General Elections helped me in evolving, says Bedi.
- I have been serving the nation selflessly for 40 years: Bedi
- No one can don police uniform without dedication: Bedi
- I have never worked for position, money. I always thought how I could serve the nation: Bedi
- I have joined BJP due to the inspirational leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says Bedi.
- Kiran Bedi begins addressing the conference, thanks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
- Meanwhile, BJP's parliamentary board meeting will take place after the CEC meeting.
- The decision if she will be named as BJP's Delhi CM candidate will be taken by party's parliamentary board and will be announced at the right time, says Shah.
- Amit Shah, talking to reporters, says Bedi will contest polls. He, however, refused to divulge details of the constituency from which she will fight.
- Not just Delhi, the whole country is familiar with Kiran Bedi. She has an image of credibility: Arun Jaitley
- BJP has had a tradition of inducting experienced and honest people into the party: Jaitley
- Jaitley starts addressing the conference.
- The presence of Kiran Bedi in BJP will strengthen the party, says Shah.
- I welcome Kiran Bedi on behalf of the party: Shah
- Shah begins addressing press conference.
- BJP president Amit Shah presents a bouquet of flowers to Bedi.
- Kiran Bedi became a member of the BJP by dialling the toll-free number started for the BJP's mass membership drive, adds the speaker.
- The speaker at the conference says Bedi is beginning new innings in politics.
- Besides Amit Shah and Kiran Bedi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay, BJP leader Vijay Goel are present at the press conference.
- According to reports, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay will address a separate press conference at 5 pm. Former AAP members like Shazia Ilmi and Farhana will be joining the BJP in the presence of Upadhyay.
- Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah reach BJP office.
In what could heighten the political fever in Delhi, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party president Amit Shah on Thursday.
This became evident when Bedi reached at Shah's residence and the duo left for BJP headquarters together for a press conference.
As per reports, actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada and former Aam Aadmi Party member Shazia Ilmi are also likely to contest polls in Delhi on BJP ticket. The duo could also join the party today.
Reports are claiming that the BJP could field Bedi as Delhi CM candidate. Notably, finding the right candidate to take on Aam Aadmi Party's chief Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi Assembly polls, scheduled to take place on February 07, appears to be a headache for the BJP's state unit.
If reports are to be believed, Jaya Prada is likely to contest polls against Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency. According to a BJP leader, the party is banking on the actor's glamour quotient to win the New Delhi seat won by Kejriwal in 2013 after defeating three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Jaya Prada had contested 2014 Lok Sabha elections on Rashtriya Lok Dal's ticket from Bijnor, but had lost. She has been a member of the Telugu Desam Party, the Samajwadi Party and later the RLD.
Some leaders of the BJP state unit are of the view that Bedi should contest against Kejriwal. And there are some who think that former AAP legislator Vinod Kumar Binny or former party leader Shazia Ilmi should contest against Kejriwal on the BJP ticket.
Bedi was once Kejriwal's ally in the anti-corruption campaign led by Gandhian Anna Hazare that captured the imagination of the country and led to the birth of the AAP.
Ilmi quit AAP in May 2014 citing "lack of inner party democracy".
The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Delhi Assembly polls in 2013 by winning 31 seats but could not form the government as it failed to reach the halfway mark.
The New Delhi seat was a Congress bastion and former chief minister Sheila Dikshit had won it thrice-in-a-row till she was drubbed by Kejriwal by over 20,000 votes in the December 2013 Assembly Election.
Kejriwal went on to become the Delhi chief minister and, though he was in office for a mere 49 days, he consolidated his position in the constituency. He is again the AAP candidate from New Delhi for the upcoming elections.
Delhi has been under President's rule since February 2014 after the Kejriwal-led AAP government quit, citing lack of support for an anti-graft bill, among others.