RSS clears former IPS officer Bedi’s name as BJP’s CM candidate

New Delhi: Just three days after former IPS officer and team Anna member Kiran Bedi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has cleared her name as the chief ministerial candidate of the party in New Delhi.

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi
The RSS termed as “baseless” the reports about its chief Mohan Bhagwat being unhappy over Bedi’s entry to BJP and said it was an “evil design” to project a rift between the Sangh and the government.

“News about Dr Bhagwatji disapproving Kiran Bedi’s entry to BJP is baseless. It’s an evil design to show a rift between RSS and government,” RSS Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said on Twitter.

Since Bedi’s induction in the BJP, speculations are rife that former IPS officer Kiran Bedi may become the party’s chief ministerial face for Delhi. However, the official announcement on the matter may be done today.

While speaking to PTI, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “So far there is no decision. The parliamentary board will take a final call.”

The two-time BJP president said the party sometimes projects its chief ministerial candidate and sometimes not.

“In case of Delhi, the parliamentary party will take the final decision,” he said.

Elections to 70-member Delhi assembly will be held on February 7.

The 12-member BJP parliamentary board include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitely besides others.

Bedi, who joined the party on Thursday, herself had also given a broad hint that she would be BJP’s chief ministerial candidate.

Meanwhile, in an interview to a national daily, Bedi said that statehood for Delhi was not a central issue at the moment.

The remarks came even as the BJP had put full statehood to Delhi as a promise in its election manifesto in 2013. The AAP has hit out at the BJP for Bedi’s U-Turn.

In the interview, Bedi also said that for her, corruption is the number one agenda to tackle.

Sixty-five-year-old Bedi was inducted into the BJP fold in the presence of party President Amit Shah and Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Harsh Vardhan at the party’s headquarters on Thursday.

The former IPS officer and former IRS officer-cum-AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal were members of Team Anna who had spearheaded a campaign during the previous UPA regime on bringing Lokpal act.

Bedi had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of her joining the party and said she was “inspired” by him.

Inputs with PTI & CNN-IBN