New Delhi, Feb 19: The Bhartiya Janata Party declared former IPS officer Kiran Bedi as its Chief Ministerial candidate in Delhi Assembly polls just to preempt Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
According to CNN IBN report which quoted sources in RSS, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in favour of declaring Smriti as party's CM candidate but several senior leaders including party president Amit Shah were not in favour of declaring her as party face.
"Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah were not in favour of Smriti to be the face of the party. Therefore, they declared Bedi as the party's CM nominee to preempt Irani," the report said quoting sources.
It is reported that the RSS was view that either Smriti Irani or Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan could have given tough fight to AAP's Arvind Kejriwal. The RSS said the picture would have been different had the BJP declared Smriti or Harsvardhan as its CM nominee.
Smriti Irani had unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha poll against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, UP.
A few days back, RSS hit out at the BJP saying that 'portraying Kiran Bedi as the CM candidate was a mistake.' In an article in its mouthpiece 'Panjanya', RSS said the party leadership were too confident and that they ignored the sentiments of the party workers and more so the achievements of the Modi government.
RSS also questioned whether the results would've been different if maybe Dr Harshvardhan or some other BJP member was projected as the CM candidate.
BJP had won only three out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly elections, resulting in embarrassment for the party that was riding high on the Modi- wave. Even Bedi lost miserably to AAP candidate SK Bagga from the BJP's bastion Krishna Nagar constituency.