New Delhi: With induction of Kiran Bedi, the BJP has finally got the face it needed in Delhi. But how did it actually happen and who convinced Kiran Bedi to join BJP?
The story is very interesting indeed. If media reports are to be believed then the BJP invited her to join the party after due deliberations and the initiative came from a high profile union minister.
In fact, it was just a week before the actual announcement of her induction that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley initiated a dialogue with Kiran Bedi to find out if she was interested in joining the party.
Bedi didn't answer immediately and sought some time for a reply.
Jaitley's offer to Bedi was actually an outcome of an internal survey conducted in the national capital by Delhi BJP to gauge the mood of the voters.
The survey showed that a large number of voters wanted a stronger chief minister.
“While the party has a large number of second-rung leaders, the results indicated that a critical percentage of voters were reluctant to vote for the BJP because of the lack of a strong CM face. The survey indicated that Kiran Bedi was a popular choice for CM,” a BJP leader told Indian Express.
The survey prompted Arun Jaitley to discuss the issue of roping in Kiran with the party chief Amit Shah.
As soon as Shah agreed to his suggestion, a meeting was planned between Jaitley and Bedi. It could not take place immediately as Jaitley had to travel outside the capital for some reasons.
On Thursday, the day Bedi joined the party, the meeting finally took place and it was attended by Jaitley, Amit Shah and Kiran Bedi herself.
After the meeting, Bedi was taken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence by Amit Shah at around 1:30 PM for the final go ahead.
In the 15 minute discussion, Modi suggested that if the party gained power in Delhi after the February 7 elections, Bedi would be picked as Chief Minister. Kiran Bedi could not have asked for anything more.
Soon after, at around 2pm, BJP's media cell was asked to organize a press conference to announce the development. Until then, none of the BJP leaders were aware of the discussions going on among the top leadership involving Kiran Bedi.
A couple of hours later, Kiran Bedi formally joined the party in the presence of both Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley.
And Kiran Bedi did not forget to inform the media that she had the backing of none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself who she had met just before arriving for the press conference.