Promises and war of words: Bedi, Kejriwal, Maken in action on last day of nomination filing

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 22, 2015 11:51 IST

On the last day for filing nominations for the February 7 Delhi assembly elections, heavyweights from different parties in the fray came out to make their candidature official, added their two cents, hit out at rivals and promised the moon to the voters.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) Kiran Bedi, Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP's) Arvind Kejriwal and Congress' Ajay Maken were among those who filed their papers. While Bedi and Maken led roadshows from their constituencies, Kejriwal made sure he reached the election office on time after failing to do so on Tuesday.

Here's a look at who said what and the drama that unfolded:

Promise of good governance

Bedi, who invoked a divine reason behind her opportunity to serve the city, promised to provide the people of the national capital with what she called a 'Good Delhi' by focussing on the issue of security and offering good governance.

Addressing the media before heading to her Krishna Nagar constituency in east Delhi, Bedi, said, "Our Delhi can become a good Delhi. We (BJP) will do good practices. We will ask for a security perception index survey."

"We will be moving very fast. Every department will have White Paper. We will measure where each department stands. All that is good will carry on, and all that is needed will be added," she added.

Bedi, India's first woman Indian Police Service officer, was named the BJP's chief ministerial candidate by party president Amit Shah after a meeting of BJP parliamentary board on Monday. A day after her annointment, the party had struggled to keep its house in order as protests broke out across Delhi against the ticket distribution process.

In a show of unity after the open dissent among party workers in the Delhi BJP over ticket distribution, Union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who is said to have been sidelined after Bedi's candidature was announced, accompanied her in an open jeep on her roadshow.

In a stark difference, Bedi's roadshow had only a few cars and some supporters present as compared to hundreds who had joined the AAP chief as he traveled 7 kilometers in 4 hours in an open truck on Tuesday.

Politics over freedom fighters

Kejriwal, after having missed the deadline on Tuesday, finally filed his nomination from New Delhi constituency.

The AAP chief did not get go of an opportunity to criticise Bedi after she put her party's scarf around the statue of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai in her constituency.

"I would like to request Kiran Bedi to spare our freedom fighters and not saffronise them. These leaders fought for independence for 120 crore Indians. There should be no politics over them," said Kejriwal.

He had on Tuesday challenged his former Team Anna colleague to a public debate to which Bedi replied by saying that she "will debate with him on the floor of the House".

Putting down opponents

Congress' Ajay Maken, who too filed his nomination from Sadar Bazaar, put down Kejriwal and Bedi as "opportunists" who "used" Anna Hazare to meet their own political ambitions.

"Both these leaders represent the same opportunistic forces. Both of them used Anna Hazare and the issue of corruption to come to the fore. They were earlier in the garb of an NGO and now they want to meet their own political ambitions," the Congress campaign committee chief said.

Maken, who responded to Kejriwal's call for a debate to Bedi, took her silence to pillory her further.

"Bedi does not have the guts for a debate. But how will she run the government if she cannot even face a debate?" the Congress leader asked.

"I am willing to debate with Kejriwal face-to-face. If Kiran Bedi comes, well and good. If not we shall leave an empty chair for her."

The senior Congress leader hit out at former Union minister Krishna Tirath, who recently joined BJP, saying she is a "first grade opportunist".

Maken also forecast the merger of the AAP and the BJP saying most of the members of Kejriwal-led party have joined the BJP.

"Both of them (AAP and BJP) are with each other. Many people who were with Anna Hazare earlier have joined the BJP now. So, it will not be surprising if in future the Aam Aadmi Party also merges with the Bharatiya Janata Party," said Maken.

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