Love Delhi, Have Come Here as a Mother: Kiran Bedi to Voters

Love Delhi, Have Come Here as a Mother: Kiran Bedi to Voters

BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi Campaigns in Delhi's Mangolpuri.

Kiran Bedi is clocking 50 kmph on her roadshows, moving much faster than other candidates. She has more distance to cover.

The BJP's presumptive Delhi minister, who has been accused of being "dictatorial" and rigid, seemed to make an all-out effort on Thursday morning to change that image in time for Saturday's voting in the Delhi elections.     

Before setting off for her first roadshow of Thursday, the last day of campaigning, Ms Bedi talked about her love for the city - "I love Delhi", said the former top cop.

In a five minute conversation she used terms like "inner voice" and "final surrender" repeatedly. The 65-year-old also said, "I love to kiss little children," and "I have come here as a mother," promising to sleep less if that "benefits the city...the country."  

And she emphatically rejected the "dictator" tag given to her by political rivals, and reportedly many in her own party, saying, "A decision maker can be called by different terms. I have always stood by those who have done the right thing and will continue to do so."

On Wednesday, Ms Bedi broke down while campaigning in Krishna Nagar, the east Delhi constituency from where she is contesting her first ever election.

Moved by people bringing her flasks filled with tea, she dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief as she said, "This is the love of the people and I don't have words for the kind of love I am getting," Ms Bedi said.

Many were surprised by the new Ms Bedi, who has always courted the image of a tough ex-cop, brisk and businesslike. In the campaign so far, she had focused on crisp promises of service delivery and detailed blueprints for Delhi.

Her political debut has not been easy. She joined the BJP only last month and was immediately named the party's chief ministerial candidate, which led to acute heartburn among senior leaders of the party.  

Last week, amid reports that the BJP was worried about the less than enthusiastic response of voters, Ms Bedi had stopped addressing rallies and meetings, saying she had a sore throat.

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