BJP officially mum, but Delhi leaders not thrilled about 'outsider' Kiran Bedi as CM nominee

The former IPS officer's new-found desire to become BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi is being opposed by many party leaders

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Pankaj Kumar | May 24, 2014



Many Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and MLAs have shown their resentment over Kiran Bedi’s ambition to become the party's chief ministerial candidate – whenever elections to the assembly is held.

A corporator, who did not wish to be named, said, “We have expressed our concern to the senior leaders of the party and have full faith in them that they will take decisions keeping in view the mood of party cadres, corporators and MLAs.”

Kiran Bedi has constantly shown her desire to join the BJP to lead the party in the Delhi elections. The party had contacted her last year to join it to counter Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal's clean image but she had at the time turned down the offer. However, she has now openly shown her interest in the media and is more than willing to join the party.

Even though the state party leaders have been warned to keep quiet on the issue, many senior leaders and Delhi state unit leaders are against Bedi's induction. Most of them are learnt to have expressed their concern over it in a meeting with BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Delhi BJP president Dr Harshvardhan.

The general mood within the party is not to accept Bedi 's leadership as the party is benfitting from Dr Harshvardhan’s clean image.

An MLA from Delhi, who has won the state assembly election more than three times, said, “BJP has won under the leadership of Dr Harshvardhan as he has been serving the state for long and there is no reason to change the leadership.”

The party leaders are resentful because even without being a member of the party, Bedi is aiming for the topmost executive position. Another leader who is presently a functionary in the state organisation said, “There is a strong speculation that Dr Harshvardhan is tipped to get a cabinet berth but he will be brought back after few months to lead the party in the coming polls. We don’t want to import leadership from outside; especially not someone who does not have any connect with the cadres.”

However, some BJP leaders have always advocated her name, hoping to draw an advantage from her image as an anti-corruption activist and a strong administrator. “So far, we have no such directions from the party high command, so we don’t want to indulge in speculations,” said Dr Sambit Patra, a spokesperson for Delhi BJP.

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