New Delhi: As IPS officer Kiran Bedi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the eve of Delhi Assembly elections, parallels are being drawn with the Congress move 15 years ago to bring a rank outsider Sheila Dikshit to lead the party in the state polls.
A BJP leader said that her gamble worked for the faction-ridden Congress in Delhi as she went on to rule the state as Chief Minister (CM) for 15 years. A similar situation is being faced by the BJP which is facing leadership crisis in the Capital.
It remains to be seen if Kiran Bedi, who is a novice in politics unlike Dikshit who was married into a political family, if given the chance, can deliver the goods.
BJP’s official position, however, is that issue of chief ministership will be decided by the parliamentary board.
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Bedi, the first women to join the Indian Police Service, served with distinction for 35 years and took voluntary retirement in 2007 after being ignored for the Delhi Police Commissioner.
During her tenure, from UN to Mizoram, from Chandigarh to Delhi, she was known for her commendable work. One of her major achievements was improving the condition of the Tihar Jail.
Bedi, who was popularly known as ‘Crane Bedi’, once towed former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car away for a parking violation, the result of this was that the government shifted her to Goa the very next day.
Bedi has won many awards in her professional career. Some of the most noted ones are the United Nations Medal and the Magsaysay award.
She also played a pivotal role during the Lokpal movement. Under social activist Anna Hazare’s guidance, India Against Corruption shook the political firmament of the country. Bedi was particularly perceived as a hardliner during the negotiation.
She holds a Bachelor degree in Law, a Master degree in Political Science, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from IIT Delhi.
She has written 10 books so far, including one on Tihar Jail and one of the India Against Corruption movement.
Bedi can physically cope with the present political scenario in Delhi, as she was India’s No 1 Tennis player for a few years, even winning the Asian Tennis Championship once.