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The Times of India
The Times of India

Haryana: Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi cross-votes, loses all Congress posts

CHANDIGARH: Congress removed Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi from all party posts, including the CWC, after he cross-voted for the BJP-backed Independent candidate in the RS polls, resulting in the defeat of Congress's Ajay Maken. Bishnoi, who belongs to the anti-Hooda camp, is now set to quit the party or be ousted.

Cong sacks Bishnoi from all party posts for cross-voting in Rajya Sabha election

Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi was on Saturday sacked from all party posts, including the Congress Working Committee, after he cross-voted for the BJP-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma in the Rajya Sabha poll, resulting in the defeat of party candidate Ajay Maken in a late-night cliffhanger.

The defeat of the Congress candidate exposed the deep divisions in the Haryana Congress. Bishnoi seems to have voted against Maken only to settle the score with CLP leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had once taken away his five MLAs.

Sources said that the credit for Maken's victory would have gone to Hooda, who was rigorously working to ensure Maken's victory to prove his clout in the state. The matter of settling the score also reflected in the tweets of Kuldeep Bishnoi and his son Bhavya Bishnoi. "Fun kuchalne ka hunar aata hai mujhe, saanp ke khauf se jangal nahin chhoda karte" (We know how to smash a snake's head, don't leave the forest due to the snake's fear). The tweet was shared on social media the entire day linking it as a major setback to Hooda who was trying to improve his clout in Haryana politics through Maken's victory. A similar tweet was also posted by his son Bhavya Bishnoi, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 parliamentary election from Hisar on a Congress ticket, at around 3.31 am, when the news regarding Maken's defeat became public. The enmity between the Bhajan Lal family and Bhupinder Singh Hooda is not new. Bishnoi's family had been claiming that the Congress party had won the 2004 assembly polls due to Bhajan Lal but Congress chose a new face, Bhupinder Singh Hooda over him. Later in the 2009 state assembly polls, the Haryana Janhit Congress, founded by Kuldeep's father Bhajan Lal had won six assembly seats. However, the then CM Hooda had managed to take five of these MLAs, leaving Kuldeep Bishnoi as the sole legislator of HJC. Bishnoi had merged HJC into Congress in 2016 but his relationship with Hooda was hardly cordial.

Bishnoi was also uncomfortable in the Congress party since the day when the party high command re-constituted the state body, including the HPCC president by giving weightage to Hooda's favourites.

Meanwhile, indirectly attacking Bishnoi for his defection in the Rajya Sabha polls, senior Congress leader Captain Ajay Singh Yadav tweeted that the Congress party high command should understand that when a big leader's son is directly inducted into the Congress Working Committee without any struggle, then he would prefer his personal interests over the party's interest in the political sphere.

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