What's behind BJP's Kiran Bedi being appointed new LG of Puducherry?

First woman IPS officer of India and BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi, 66-year-old Kiran Bedi was appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on Sunday, The Hindu reported.

Bedi will take charge, from the former LG AK Singh, who is currently been appointed as the LG of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Singh was given the additional charge as the LG of Puducherry after the former LG for the Union Territory Virendra Kataria from the UPA regime was sacked in July 2014 by the BJP government at the Centre.

A press statement from the Rashtrapati Bhawan said: "The President has been pleased to appoint Ms. Kiran Bedi to be the Lt. Governor of Puducherry with effect from the date she assumes charges of her office."

Speaking to The Indian Express on her appointment, Bedi, said, "I will give it my best, very holistically and very comprehensively, because my approach has always been that every department that is a part of the government has a meaning. If you ask me about security and women, for me every department will get equal attention. I will inspire people to give their best. That’s the way I’ve worked all through… My work has always been on people-centric services."

As per the report, Bedi also thanked 'the leadership for placing their trust in her'.

Whats behind BJPs Kiran Bedi being appointed new LG of Puducherry?

A file photo of Kiran Bedi. PTI

Kiran Bedi's political record:

Bedi, served the police force for 35 years before she decided to take the plunge into Indian politics. In 2011, Kiran Bedi was seen campaigning alongside Arvind Kejriwal, in support of Anna Hazare's India against Corruption movement. The former IPS officer split from the movement in 2012, after Kejriwal and a few others formed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

In 2015, she joined BJP, leading the  party campaign in the 2015 Delhi assembly election. She was defeated by the Kejriwal-led AAP, which in a sweeping victory won 66 out of the 70 seats.

Kiran Bedi, during the 2015 Delhi elections, had received wide criticism from the media and members of the Opposition alike, for "shielding" the BJP. AAP had attacked BJP, claiming that the former IPS officer, Bedi, had been inducted to shield Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from the party’s defeat in the upcoming Assembly elections.

“BJP has got the world’s most beautiful face with it, ie Narendra Modi and his leadership. After that we are just stars who are revolving around him." Kiran Bedi had said in response to AAP's claims, as was reported by The Indian Express.

BJP's political agenda?

Bedi's appointment comes three days after the Congress-DMK  alliance won the Puducherry Assembly elections. Among the five states which went to polls this year, Puducherry was the only place where Congress came into power.

Owing to the recent instances of overlap in administrative powers, the most recent of which was observed between Kejriwal and LG Naseeb Jung in Delhi, a similar dispute in Puducherry is being speculated. It has also been alleged that the BJP government at the Centre in an attempt to overthrow state government, especially the states run by Congress, are trying to "create" crisis in Congress-run states.

The most recent example being Uttarakhand.

Opposition parties have accused BJP of making politically partisan appointments as stated on The Wire. The article further explained how the decision of appointing Kiran Bedi, comes across as a well thought-out political move on BJP's behalf. The party has been trying to rope in intellectuals and reputed administrators in the south. Through Bedi's appointment, BJP will reiterate it's message of efficiency further.

According to the report, Congress leader PC Chacko said that while his party has no problems working with the central government, the L-G should work within constitutional limits. Raghav Chaddha of AAP was seen taking a stronger stance. "It is very clear that the BJP has milked Bedi’s personality and standing in society quite well." he told The Wire.

The JD(U) too opposed the appointment, alleging that such 'political appointments' are made to serve the interests of the ruling party, The Indian Express reported.

"Even during the Congress' time in the past, political appointments were made. Then we and the BJP used to oppose it together. Now these appointments are being made by the BJP as well, when it has become the ruling party,” said party general secretary KC Tyagi.

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Updated Date: May 23, 2016 15:59:06 IST

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