New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party today derided Kiran Bedi's decision to join BJP just ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls while Congress accused her of “gross political opportunism” while recalling that she had vowed not to enter politics during the Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare.
Congress leader Ajay Maken, who will lead the party's campaign for Delhi Assembly polls, said both Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal “used” Hazare for political gains and “backstabbed” him.
At a media briefing, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said it was “sad and shocking” that Bedi who had been maintaining that she will always remain apolitical and keep raising the issues of people, has joined the BJP.
In a subtle dig at Bedi, Kejriwal said he had also tried to convince his former Team Anna colleague to take a plunge into politics. Bedi parted ways with Kejriwal after he decided to float a political party in October 2012 and was severely critical of his decision.
“I have been fond of Kiran Bediji. I always tried to convince her that she should join politics. I am happy she did it today,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The 65-year old former IPS officer was inducted into the BJP fold in the presence of party President Amit Shah and Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Harsh Vardhan, triggering speculation that she may be in the race for Chief Ministership if BJP wins the polls.
Shah said her induction will “hugely strengthen” the Delhi unit. He also announced that she will contest the polls but declined to answer whether she will be pitted against Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency.
Describing her as an able administrator who has been a crusader while in government and outside it, Jaitley said the party had been in touch with her for sometime and her joining it will make the party stronger.
Bedi, on her part, said she joined BJP due to the inspirational leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Maken said Bedi had described India against Corruption movement, which was led by Hazare and seen enthusiastic people's participation, “neither anti-Congress, nor pro-BJP” but she “betrayed” the trust of the people associated with it.
“Bedi, who had on record criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed the IAC movement to be neither anti-Congress, nor pro-BJP, today betrayed the trust of the people associated with the IAC campaign,” he said in a statement.