The Congress expelled Haryana Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi on Saturday for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha polls. Bishnoi voted for JJP-backed and BJP-supported independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma, resulting in the defeat of Congress nominee Ajay Maken by one vote in the elections on Friday.
Maken, who many had assumed was sure to win, failed to secure a Rajya Sabha seat after Bishnoi cross-voted and Kiran Choudhary, MLA from Tosham, “wrongly cast her ballot paper”, according to party sources.
In a statement, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said, “Congress President (Sonia Gandhi) has expelled Kuldeep Bishnoi from all his present party positions including the post of Special Invitee of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), with immediate effect.”
Bishnoi, MLA from Adampur and a prominent Jat leader, had not attended any of the party meetings of its legislators and had said that he has voted as per his conscience. Bishnoi had hit the headlines before the June 10 polls to the upper house for his cryptic tweets.
Cryptic tweets before RS polls
In a cryptic tweet in Hindi on Saturday, he had said, “I know how to crush a snake’s hood. I do not leave the jungle in fear of snakes.” Bishnoi, son of late Congress leader Bhajan Lal, had been sulking over being sidelined during the revamp of the party’s state unit. He had been expressing his resentment against the party ever since Udai Bhan, a trusted loyalist of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda, was appointed the Congress chief of the state.
Bishnoi had earlier said that he would wait for the Congress to decide his role. He was also scheduled to meet Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi in the coming days.
After the Rajya Sabha results were declared, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, while replying to a question on Bishnoi voting for Sharma, had said the Congress leader did it listening to his “inner conscience”.
“The party will welcome him if he joins it,” Khattar said on the rebel leader’s likelihood of jumping ship.