In an unexpected turn of events, senior Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi, who represents Haryana’s Adampur constituency, voted a party’s official nominee and senior leader Ajay Maken. The vote by Bishnoi led to a major embarrassment for Congress as BJP-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma won by a narrow margin.
Who is Kuldeep Bishnoi and why have I voted against the party?
Bishnoi is a four-time MLA and currently represents the Adampur Assembly seat in Hisar. He has also been a two-time parliamentarian. Bishnoi is the son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, who ruled the state for a long time. He has also been in the BJP, after he initially floated his own outfit — the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL). He is also the patron of the Akhil Bharatiya Bishnoi Mahasabha.
Bishnoi had not attended the meetings of the party MLAs organized in support of Maken. Neither had he gone to Raipur, where the Congress legislators were holed up in a resort ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.
Kuldeep Bishnoi was upset with the party after he was denied state President post and had said he will only make a decision after meeting Rahul Gandhi which did not take place. Bishnoi, meanwhile, had tweeted a cryptic message which read: “I have the capability to crush snakes` hood, do not leave the jungle in the fear of snakes.”
It is pretty apparent that Bishnoi was unhappy with party leadership and that’s why he made the unexpected decision.
The loss in Haryana has put Bhupinder Singh Hooda in a tight spot and party leadership is likely to take a view on it as he had promised to win the seat for the party.
How did Kuldeep Bishnoi’s vote result in Ajay Maken’s defeat?
Kuldeep Bishnoi cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, which led to party candidate Ajay Maken`s defeat in Haryana. Two Congress MLAs cross-voted in Haryana as the party candidate got only 29 votes out of 31 and an Independent candidate backed by BJP, Kartikeya Sharma defeated him with a slight margin.
BJP nominee Krishan Lal Panwar and Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma emerged victorious. Earlier, the two had written to the Election Commission alleging that Congress MLAs — Kiran Choudhary and BB Batra — showed their ballot papers to unauthorized persons after marking them, but the EC rejected their objections and counting was restarted.
Of the 90 members in the Haryana Assembly, 89 cast their votes, officials said. Independent legislator Balraj Kundu abstained from voting.
Party expels Kuldeep Bishnoi
The Congress expelled Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bhishnoi from all party positions. In a letter, Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, wrote, “Honble Congress President has expelled Shri Kuldeep Bishnoi from all his present party positions including the post of special invitee in Congress working committee with immediate effect.”