BJP defends Bedi, cautions members against bickering

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New Delhi: In view of a party MP criticising newly-inducted member Kiren Bedi in public, the BJP Monday “cautioned” its leaders against making comments “contrary to the party line” that might affect its prospects in the upcoming Delhi assembly election.

After Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha member Manoj Tiwari commented against the induction of Bedi, and some other BJP leaders reacting to the actor-turned-politician’s statements to the media, the BJP “cautioned all” not to say anything which could go against its interests, party sources said.

Tiwari was quoted as saying that Bedi “is a party worker” and must behave like one.

“She should be humble, she has been brought in as a BJP worker. She is not the chief ministerial candidate so far,” he told reporters.

“We need a leader, and not a policeman, who can take everyone along,” he said.

The BJP defended Bedi’s “conduct” and said she was doing all that to strengthen the party.

“She wants to form the government (in Delhi), she wants to strengthen the party, that’s why she’s meeting MPs,” Delhi BJP in-charge Prabhat Jha told reporters.

Tiwari is one of the two Delhi parliamentarians who did not attend Bedi’s tea party Sunday.

The other political parties, however, termed the inner developments in the BJP as “obvious frustrations” among leaders who have been there for a long time.

“I have great sympathy for Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Goel… who have been working hard for the last 30-40 years,” Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh told reporters.

He said people like them would certainly have problems as an old party worker always thinks of becoming chief minister some time in life.

P.C. Chacko of the Congress also expressed similar feelings.

He said BJP leaders discussing the issue in the open shows there was frustration.

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