A day after she joined the BJP, Kiran Bedi tells HT that it was Modi and Amit Shah’s leadership and vision that made her join the party. She shared her agenda for Delhi, with security for women topping the list of priorities. Excerpts from an interview.
Speculation about you joining the BJP had been rife for a long time. What took you so long?
Rumours are always rumours. I would like to answer this question by quoting a tweet of mine: “Life is change to which We Say YES! What comes before & after has many schools of thought! Been reading, listening & experiencing it afresh! (sic)”. I’ve not planned it. Life chose it for me.
Will you contest against Arvind Kejriwal?
I will not contest against anyone. It is for the party to decide. I will do as they say. I will not choose my constituency. I will contest from wherever the party asks me to.
You were earlier associated with Arvind Kejriwal. How do you see as an opponent now?
My approach is to live in the present, correct the past and plan for the future. All my energy is supposed to be concerned on bringing positive change. I am not doing it alone. The kind of leadership Amit Shah is providing, I am thrilled to see his vision.
What will be your election strategy for Delhi?
I will go by the campaign planning and the strategy of the party as far as election campaigning is concerned. The top leadership will decide that.
What are your focus areas?
As per the surveys that have come up, women security has emerged as one of the most important issue. I have seen/read these surveys as a Delhiite and the second most important issue is of cleanliness in the city. The third is of essential commodities - the civic amenities (electricity and water). According to the surveys, price rice is on its way down and even corruption figures seventh on the list, while for me it is probably number one.
How are you going to make Delhi a safer city for women?
For women security, I have a very clear plan, even if it is too early for me to say so, let me say it because that’s based on the presumption that one is there. I’ve been writing and explaining a 6P formula.
The first P is people and that is parents, principals and the community leaders (the preachers). People is a very vital component. The second P is the politician as the politician gives you the rules, it gives you resources, it gives you regulations, it gives you law. If you notice, the law came so late after the Nirbhaya’s case and even the law against sexual violence came by an ordinance. So, politician has a very important role in strengthening laws.
The third P is the police and it is for reaction as well as response. We then have the community policing, which is for prevention and investigation. The fourth P is prosecution as to how fast is the trial, while the fifth 5 is prison. This is very crucial as in the past many rapists were those who were released from prisons such as the Shakti Mill and Uber case.
The last P is the press - how they deliver and communicate. These are the 6Ps and this is the crux. They need to meet regularly with a strategy.
The full statehood issue was part of BJP’s manifesto. What are your views?
I don’t think this is a central issue right now.
How do you react to Sangh Parivar’s ‘Ghar Wapsi’?
I think they have been asking for a law to be made. Let’s ban conversion. They have been saying let’s go for a law. Let the parliament decide this whether you want to ban conversion or leave it as a volition because you already have a law in this case.
There can be no forced conversion. I have seen conversion in Mizoram but there was not a single case of forced conversion. There is no ban on someone going back.
Video:Kiran Bedi on reports that she might be BJP's CM nominee