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Kiran Bedi joins BJP, likely to be pitted against Kejriwal

Last updated on: January 15, 2015 17:59 IST

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah induct former IPS officer Kiran Bedi into the party on Thursday. Photograph: @BJP4India/Twitter

Former top cop Kiran Bedi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday ahead of the February 7 Delhi polls.

BJP’s top brass -- Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and Dr Harsh Vardhan -- inducted Bedi at the party headquarters confirming that she would contest the elections.      

The BJP chief welcomed Bedi to the party and said she would strengthen its Delhi unit. "I extend my heartiest wishes to Kiran Bediji for joining the BJP. Her presence will strengthen our Delhi unit. She will definitely contest from the BJP's side, but it is the prerogative of the parliamentary board to decide who will be CM candidate.”

Though no announcement has been made on the seat that Bedi will contest, rumour mills are abuzz that she may be pitted against Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal as BJP’s candidate for the top job.  

The retired Indian Police Service officer had in May last year said she was ready to become the chief ministerial nominee in Delhi, if the BJP made such an offer to her.   

Thanking Narendra Modi, Bedi said she joined the party because of the PM’s “inspiration leadership”. "I am here because of PM Modi's leadership; I am here because he has inspired me. I have been serving the nation for the last 40 years. I am thankful to the PM for this blessings and the trust he has placed on me," she said.

She added that Delhi required a strong, honest and courageous leadership. 

Bedi was a key member of the Anna Hazare-led Jan Lokpal Andolan, a nationwide campaign demanding a bill to appoint an ombudsman against corruption. Kejriwal too was a part of this crusade, but later fell out with Hazare over his decision to launch a political party.