Vardhan continues to be Delhi 'CM candidate'

Vardhan continues to be Delhi  'CM candidate'

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi hinted at joining politics and sparked speculation over her becoming the BJP’s Delhi chief ministerial candidate, but some party leaders believe that Delhi unit chief and Chandni Chowk MP Harsh Vardhan continues to be first choice for the post.

Bedi tweeted on Wednesday and said she was ready to enter the ‘Indian political service’. She, however, did not talk about the party she may join or elaborate on her political roadmap. 

A senior Delhi BJP leader on Thursday said, “There is no change in Harsh Vardhan’s status as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Delhi.” He added that fresh Assembly elections were unlikely before October-November, till then Harsh Vardhan, if needed, may serve as a Union minister. 

Another BJP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said Sushma Swaraj was a Union minister at the time of being made the Delhi chief minister in 1998. 

Even if Vardhan becomes a minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, his services could be used – as chief ministerial candidate - in Delhi at the ‘right time’, he said.

A Delhi BJP leader, averse to Bedi’s role in city politics, said she would have served the party better had she joined it ahead of the December 2013 Assembly polls and taken on Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi Assembly seat. Vardhan, meanwhile, refused to be dragged into any controversy. 

“I am a disciplined member of the party. I will give my best to whatever task I am assigned,” he said.

Bedi’s credentials as an anti-corruption crusader and an associate of activist Anna Hazare are some factors which have probably fuelled speculation over her being the perfect challenger against Kejriwal in Delhi. 

Some party leaders said the next Assembly elections are expected to throw up a clear majority for one party – be it BJP or AAP.

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