Top BJP Leaders to Decide on Delhi Candidates

Kiran_bedi_felicitation_650_PTINEW DELHI : The BJP will today finalise its list of candidates for the crucial Delhi elections next month, even as state leaders come to terms with new politician and former top cop Kiran Bedi being para-dropped amid them as a party ace.
 The party’s Central election committee headed by BJP chief Amit Shah and which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will meet at 7 this evening to vet and finalise the list of candidates amid buzz that it could decide to project Ms Bedi, 65, as the BJP’s candidate for chief minister.
Sources said the panel is expected to announce a campaign committee for Delhi, which could be headed by Ms Bedi. It is also said to be looking for sure-shot seat for Ms Bedi.
Many senior Delhi leaders of the BJP are said to be not quite convinced that naming Ms Bedi, a political debutante, presumptive chief minister would be a politically canny move. There is also reportedly disquiet among those who were seen as chief minister probables, but overt dissent is not expected.
Delhi leader Jagdish Mukhi, seen as an aspirant for the top Delhi post, said, “It is wrong to say that the party is divided… our Delhi unit is completely united and we will win the Delhi elections with 60 seats.”
Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer and activist, joined the BJP last week in a high-profile induction and was immediately featured prominently on the party’s Delhi posters leading to speculation that she will be the party’s counter to activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Since she has joined the party, Kiran Bedi and her comments have drawn much attention. In tweets today and before, she has indicated that she is prepping to play a key role in Delhi. “Repeatedly asked what ought to be d priority of a Govt.My response has always been,To ensure ALL departments DELIVER as ‘ONE ORGANIC WHOLE’ (sic),” she tweeted yesterday.
Ms Bedi also raised eyebrows by inviting all seven BJP MPs of Delhi to her residence for tea on Sunday. Five of them turned up and were reportedly asked about development work in their constituencies.
Union Minister and former party president Rajnath Singh said on Sunday, “So far there is no decision. The parliamentary board will take a final call.” Mr Singh is a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board, a group of 12 leaders who are also part of the central election committee that meets this evening.
The BJP, which is aiming to better its tally in the last assembly elections to win a majority this time, is last off the blocks on announcing candidates for the February 7 polls. Rivals Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress have already announced a majority of their candidates.In elections held in December 2013, the BJP had bagged 31 seats and its ally the Akali Dal had won one. They were five seats short of a majority in the 70-member assembly, with AAP winning 28 seats, and the Congress eight.
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