A day after she was named the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday challenged Kiran Bedi to a public debate. Bedi responded by saying that she will debate with him "on the floor of the House".
The AAP leader said, "It will be a good initiative for democracy if there is a debate between us on different issues. People vote in the name of religion and caste...they are not aware of issues. The debate, around 1-2 hours long should be on concrete issues."
Responding to Kejriwal's challenge, Bedi said the AAP chief believes "only in debates" while her focus is on delivery of services, and that she will debate "on the floor of the House".
"Arvind believes only in debates whereas I believe in delivery of services. I will debate with him on the floor of the House," the former IPS officer said.
Kejriwal, known for his active social media presence, also requested Bedi to "unblock" him in on microblogging site twitter. He tweeted, "@thekiranbedi Kiranji, i used to follow u on twitter. Now, u have blocked me on twitter. Kindly unblock me."
I accept the challenge, will do it in the assembly: Kiran Bedi responds to Arvind Kejriwal's challenge.
Terming Kejriwal's twitter account as a "polluting" one, Bedi hit back at Kejriwal, saying that she blocked him more than a year ago as he was "spreading negativity".
"I blocked him 15 months back when he called himself an anarchist. He was spreading negativity. Didn't want my four million followers to see negativity... it was a polluting account," Bedi, who was last night named the Chief Ministerial candidate for the February seven Delhi Assembly elections, said.
65-year-old Bedi, the country's first woman IPS officer, was named the BJP's Chief Ministerial by party President Amit Shah after a meeting of the BJP's Parliamentary Board.
In its first reaction after the announcement, AAP said said Bedi was not a challenge to AAP and BJP's choice will have an adverse effect on its rank and file.
"BJP has made Kiran Bedi the Chief Ministerial candidate so that she could be made a scapegoat as the party was not confident of its victory because of AAP's growing popularity and increasing support base. Bedi is not a challenge for AAP," senior AAP leader Somnath Bharti had said.
Bedi will contest from the Krishna Nagar seat in East Delhi, considered a BJP stronghold.
The Parliamentary Board meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj among others.