The open declaration of support for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi by prominent team Anna member and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi triggered speculation on whether the veteran social activist and his associates are moving towards the saffron party.
A file photo of ex-IPS officer and social activist Kiran Bedi with Anna Hazare during his indefinite hunger strike for lokpal bill at his village Ralegan Siddhi. (PTI)
Bedi, who has consistently maintained that she will not join any political party, defended her support for Modi saying: “India needs a strong leader, who is tested and experienced. Yes it can be Modi… I am speaking as an independent citizen. I am not a member of any political party.”
The BJP welcomed her statement. “Bedi has a position of her own. There is support pouring in for Modi from across the nation because people want good governance,” said party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
Going a step further, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said the party should invite Bedi and former army chief General VK Singh to join it.
Bedi has, of late, been critical of her former colleague and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on many issues, indicating that the differences between the Aam Aadmi Party chief and those who chose not to enter politics were fast becoming irreconcilable.
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General Singh, who joined Anna Hazare after he had split from Kejriwal and his group in September 2012, has also been speaking against the AAP leadership, terming it as their attempt to weaken the anti-corruption movement by breaking away for political gains.
Though Hazare has largely kept himself aloof from the growing political bitterness among his team members and former colleagues, his praise of Modi at regular intervals, which he has retracted also sometimes later, keeps the guessing game on.
Though the AAP leadership does not seem inclined to reconcile with either Hazare or his close associates, there is a growing feeling within this new party that Bedi and Singh have given sufficient indications of inching closer towards the BJP.
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