Shanti Bhushan says Bedi is BJP's masterstroke

Shanti Bhushan says Bedi is BJP's masterstroke

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founding member Shanti Bhushan on Thursday described the BJP chief ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly elections, Kiran Bedi, as the saffron party’s “masterstroke”.

He said AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s rival for the next month’s election will make a better chief minister. But the AAP leaders, including his son Prashant Bhushan, played down his statement by saying that they don’t share the view.

“We will speak to him and keep facts before him, he will understand what we have to say,” Kejriwal told reporters, adding that Bhushan has right to express his opinion. Prashant Bhushan said, “I disagree with my father, Kiran Bedi is an opportunist.”

Earlier, Shanti Bhushan told a TV news channel, “Kiran and Arvind were both part of the Anna movement. It is definitely a masterstroke by the BJP because (she was part of) the movement’s success. People want somebody to be the chief minister who has an honest image.

“AAP’s aim was to re-establish clean politics in the country. It has succeeded in the way it forced the BJP to bring Bedi into the party,” he added.   

The former law minister further said he would have preferred Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate had she been with the AAP. When asked for her reaction, Bedi simply thanked Bhushan and refused to comment further.  

The AAP patron’s endorsement of Bedi gave enough fodder to the party detractors. BJP leader Shazia Ilmi, formerly with AAP, on Twitter said, “It’s sad to see that AAP leadership shows such disrespect to Shanti Bhushan (sic), Bhishm Pitmah of AAP.” Bhushan also raised questions about the AAP’s candidate selection process. “In the ticket distribution, he (Kejriwal) has given tickets on the basis of winnability,” he said.

The veteran AAP leader was part of the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement.