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Bedi apologises but asks BJP to introspect defeat


New Delhi: BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi Tuesday apologised to her party for letting it down after she lost from a constituency seen as a 'safe seat' by the party, but demonstrated her ignorance about the city by admitting how she discovered during the campaign the yawning gap between the haves and have-nots.

Bedi, who served Delhi as an Indian Police Service officer at various levels and took voluntary retirement while she was director of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, also admitted she got to know Delhi only after she started her campaign.

She said her constituency Krishna Nagar, which has had former BJP chief ministerial candidate and now union minister Harsh Vardhan as its legislator since the first Delhi election in 1993, was dirty and needed at least a month just for cleaning.

She admitted her lack of knowledge about Delhi, and said the campaigning gave her a chance to know the city.

"I am very happy I got to do this, because this showed me the real situation of Delhi. I was troubled with what I saw... the divide between urban rich and urban poor... There is a mammoth gap," she said.

In a strange admission, she also said she was not charged "even a rupee" for fighting the election, adding that it was "rare" that this happened.

"They (BJP) did not take even a rupee for making me the chief ministerial candidate... this is rare that a party gives you candidature and does not take even a rupee," Bedi said, while thanking the BJP for giving her the opportunity.

Bedi's entry as the chief ministerial candidate days before the election had left many unhappy in the party.

She, however, thanked party workers and leaders for their "affection" and apologised for letting them down, and said she will continue to be a part of the BJP.

Taking the entire responsibility for the defeat, Bedi said: "PM (Narendra Modi) was not the CM candidate, I was. I take full responsibility."

"I want to thank the BJP leadership which reposed trust in me. I apologise to every worker of the party, I could not fulfill their expectation," she said.

Minutes later, the former police officer in response to a question retorted: "I have not lost... let the BJP assess (why they lost), they are a national cadre-based party. I have not lost, I gave my very best."

Bedi lost the Krishna Nagar constituency to a little known lawyer, S.K. Bagga, by 2,277 votes.

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