The Bharatiya Janata Party chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi appeared ambiguous in her statement following defeat in Krishna Nagar constituency. While on the one hand she apologised for not living up to the party’s expectations, on the other, she said, “I have not lost. I gave it all my best. Let the BJP introspect. They will assess for themselves.”
Bedi, who was touted as BJP’s “masterstroke” ahead of the elections, lost by 2,277 votes to Aam Aadmi Party’s S K Bagga, with leaders expressing shock over her loss in a constituency that has for the past 20 years been a BJP stronghold.
Speaking to mediapersons outside her residence in Uday Park, Bedi said, “I got all the respect and confidence of the top leaders including Narendra Modi and Amit Shah as well as ordinary party workers. But I ask for their forgiveness as I failed to carry that confidence and responsibility. I will remain devoted to Delhi as I have been for the past 40 years.”
However, when asked if she thought she had lost, Bedi said: “I have not lost. Let the BJP introspect. It’s a national cadre-based party. They will assess for themselves. I gave it all my best. I’m an integral part of the BJP.”
When asked if this loss was a referendum on Modi, she said: “Prime Minister Modiji was not the CM candidate. I will take responsibility for not having lived up to my party workers’ expectations. This is the first time I felt like this in my entire career… I have never had to face such a situation”.
About her constituency, she said: “People in Krishna Nagar respected me. I want to thank them for this. But, unhone mujhe kubool nahi kiya.” She added: “I am a defeated candidate. Krishna Nagar doesn’t have clean parks for children. I was going to bring in a model of community service had I won. But now, those who have won will have to run it. I cannot interfere”.
Congratulating Arvind Kejriwal on his landslide victory, she said, “Congrats to Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party. Full marks to them. I have tweeted this as well.”
Reminiscing about her days with the Anna Hazare movement, she said: “About Kejriwal and his party, I would like to say that it was his five years of efforts that paid off and allowed the AAP access to the urban poor. In the Anna Hazare movement, we had reached out to the ‘aam aadmi’, when we spoke of a strong Lokpal. I am sure that Arvind and his team will now give all facilities to the urban poor.”
“It was Modiji’s dream to transform Delhi into a world class city. I hope Arvind and his party will now transform Delhi into a world class city and fulfill their promises,” she added.
Stating that dharnas will no longer work, Bedi said: “Only governance will work now. A confrontational approach will not work any longer. Only strong collaboration will work.”