It’s election season in India and the last minute preparations are in full swing in Delhi.
The Delhi Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to take place on Feb 7. The three main political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , Congress and Aaam Admi are wooing voters to win a mandate to form the government in Delhi.
- Dr. Kiran Bedi was India’s first woman IPS officer.
- a distinguished police officer and activist , she introduced various reforms at India’s once infamous Tihar Jail, South Asia’s largest prison, which gained worldwide acclaim.
- she is a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, which is widely known as Asia’s Nobel Prize for her reformative policies and effective prison management.
- she has also worked with the United Nations as a police adviser in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations.
- Dr. Bedi was one of the prominent faces in the 2011 anti- corruption movement in India, which aimed at establishing a strong legislation against the rampant corruption in the country.
- in 2015, she was anointed as BJP’s chief ministerial candidate thus marking her foray into politics.
- Dr. Bedi is seeking a mandate from the Krishna Nagar constituency.
- Dr. Bedi’s election campaign focused on ensuring transparency in governance , round- the clock power and water supply, women’s security , development. She also promised to make Delhi a world class city. Above all she emphasized on making the administration more people-friendly.
- Arvind Kejriwal, a former civil servant and a recipient of the Magsaysay award is one of the prominent anti – corruption crusaders in the country.
- in 2013, he made his political debut and founded the Aam Admi Party (Common man’s party) and was voted to power in the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections.
- His party won 28 seats in that election and formed the government with the support of the Congress party. However after 49 days he resigned due to a row over an anti- corruption bill. Meanwhile in the 2014 general elections he ran against Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi but failed to win as Modi won around 300,000 votes.
- Kejriwal’s election campaign focused on Delhi’s development needs. He promised to ensure security of women and action against corruption.
- Kejriwal is running against Congress candidate Kiran Walia and BJP’s Nupur Sharma from the high-profile New Delhi Assembly constituency.
Bedi Vs Kejriwal
The main contest to watch for in this election is that between Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal. Ever since the election campaign started, a series of heated arguments have been exchanged between the two rivals.
Kejriwal and Bedi closely worked together during the anti- corruption movement in 2011. However when Kejriwal made his political entry in 2012, they had a fall out and parted ways. They are at loggerheads once again with the announcement of Kiran Bedi as BJP’s candidate in Delhi.
It started with Kejriwal’s appeal to the former policewoman- turned-politician to unblock him on Twitter, but Bedi turned down the request and launched a scathing attack against him by stating that he was spreading negativity and described his Twitter account as “polluting account”.
Bedi also turned down her rival’s request for a public debate.
The opinion pollls conducted by various research companies reveal that AAP is likely to win 36 seats.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Research and Development initiative, an organization based in India which focuses on social and developmental research, predicts that BJP is likely to win around 45 seats, whereas AAP is likely to get around 25 seats.
The BJP is pinning its hopes on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain power in Delhi after 16 years.
For AAP, which formed a minority government in last the election, the election verdict remains critical.