Twitterarti from throwing up all kinds of names - if only for the purpose of poking fun at AAP - like former Delhi police commissioner Bassi and now Puducherry governor & ex cop Kiran Bedi.
Najeeb Jung’s decision to resign from the post of Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor (L-G) has taken everyone by surprise. Even as debate rages on the possible reasons for Jung’s sudden move, speculation is rife on social media as to who would be appointed as the next L-G of Delhi. Some news reports are saying that Anil Baijal, a former bureaucrat is the likely appointee. However, that hasn’t stopped Twitterarti from throwing up all kinds of names – if only for the purpose of poking fun at AAP – like former Delhi police commissioner Bassi and now Puducherry governor & ex cop Kiran Bedi. While it seems very unlikely that the Centre would exacerbate the already tense relations with the Kejriwal govt, Kiran Bedi may not really be that odd a choice to take on this coveted position. She has some strong, compelling reasons in her favour to occupy this high chair.
1. Modi government’s perfect counter to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Of course, this will happen only if the Centre wants to bug the Delhi government more. Kiran Bedi was BJP’s chief ministerial candidate during the Delhi elections last year, a direct opponent to the AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. The Aam Aadmi Party swept Delhi polls, and it’s a known fact that Kiran Bedi lost badly. If Modi government decides to bring her as the new L-G of the national capital, she may prove to be the perfect political counter to Kejriwal. The ties between former L-G Najeeb Jung and Kejriwal had deteriorated to an all-time low in the last one and a half year, with the Delhi CM constantly accusing the former of not letting him run the government. With Bedi as L-G, Kejriwal may find an even tougher adversary to deal with.
2. Kiran Bedi’s clean track record
Arvind Kejriwal has always projected himself as an honest politician – something that also helped him in AAP’s landslide victory. Kiran Bedi too is seen as an honest social worker. Incidentally, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal were part of Anna Hazare’s ‘India Against Corruption’ movement. Both come with a clean track record and penchant for weeding out corruption from the system. There is little doubt that Kejriwal would call her a ‘puppet’ of the Modi government, nevertheless, he would find it difficult to allege that she is involved in any corrupt practices.
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3. A Retired IPS officer would be good for Delhi Police
Kejriwal has always lamented the fact that Delhi Police does not fall under his government. He has in fact, time and again alleged that Delhi Police does little to control the crime rate in the national capital. But, with Kiran Bedi, the Delhi CM may find no reason to complain. A retired Indian Police Service officer, Kiran Bedi was in service for 35 years. At present, Delhi is sadly referred to as India’s ‘rape capital’, and with Delhi Police under her, Bedi can play an important role in eliminating this horror. In fact, women in Delhi would actually take comfort from the fact that while in charge of West Delhi as a police officer, Bedi actually brought about a reduction in crimes against them.
4. Experience as L-G of Puducherry
Kiran Bedi has what it takes to be the L-G of a Union Territory. As Puducherry’s L-G, Bedi has been widely credited for bringing in reforms and being approachable for the common man. According to a report in First Post, Kiran Bedi meets 40 people every day on a first come first serve basis and attempts to resolve their problems. Interestingly, Kejriwal himself is a big proponent of the concept of being an ‘aam aadmi’ and helping the common man resolve day-to-day governance issues. From traffic congestion, law and order to taking forward PM Modi’s favourite Swachh Bharat campaign, Bedi has reportedly worked on multiple initiatives. This experience would certainly come in handy if she is given charge of Delhi.
5. First woman L-G of Delhi
Lastly, Delhi has seen successful women chief ministers, but if Bedi is appointed by BJP, she would become the first woman L-G of the national capital. This would definitely go a long way in changing the perception about Delhi and hopefully women safety in the national capital.
But, even though there are some good reasons for the Modi government to appoint Kiran Bedi, admittedly the step may lead to a fresh wave of sympathy for Kejriwal. That may very well turn out to be a political blunder for BJP. Who will finally bag the post of Delhi L-G is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure, whoever comes, it’s unlikely that the battle would get any less fierce!