The BJP is planning to take on the might of former chief minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in his Assembly constituency of New Delhi by not fielding a regular run-of-the-mill kind of politician.
With the saffron party welcoming India Against Corruption (IAC) core group member and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi into its fold on Thursday, it has fuelled speculations of who will be pitted against Kejriwal.
Sources said it is likely that Bedi will be fielded either from New Delhi or from Malviya Nagar — against AAP leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti.
For the BJP, Bedi’s induction was an occasion worthy of the presence of its party president Amit Shah and Union minister Arun Jaitley.Throwing its weight behind Bedi in this manner, the BJP has sent out signals to the cadre that she will be an important leader for the party in Delhi.
BJP MP Vijay Goel, who was also present during the induction ceremony, tweeted, “Welcome @thekiranbedi into Bharatiya Janata Party. I am certain that under her inspirational leadership, BJP will win & Delhi will grow.”
When asked about the import of Goel’s tweet, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay, who is also a frontrunner for the post of CM, said, “You should ask Goel about his tweet.”
Though the Congress has announced the name of Kiran Walia for the New Delhi seat, the BJP is yet to announce its candidate for the seat.The decision to put up a strong candidate, who can effectively take on Kejriwal, was taken after Shah expressed displeasure over Vijender Gupta’s bad performance in the seat in the 2013 election. Gupta, a former Delhi BJP chief, had finished third, behind Kejriwal and Dikshit.
Party sources said someone who can take on Kejriwal in his political tactics of dharnas, connecting with the people and use of social media may be fielded as the contestant in New Delhi.
It is understood that the names of Bedi and youth activist Tajinder Bagga, among others, are doing the rounds of the party circles.Bedi is seen as someone with a clean image and her long association with the Anna Movement, the origin point of AAP, are seen as factors in her favour. Her stature, connect with the people and social media prowess too are seen as plus points.
The other name doing the rounds if that of Bagga, who has been in the forefront of the attack on AAP. Bagga too has a clean image and the ability to connect with the masses on social media.
Interestingly, both Bedi and Bagga were trending on Twitter throughout Thursday.