The Congress party on Saturday expelled its Haryana MLA, Kuldeep Bishnoi, from all his present party positions for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections that concluded on Friday.
According to the Haryana Congress, Bishnoi, an MLA from the Adampur constituency in Hisar, did not vote for Ajay Maken, Congress’s candidate from Haryana, and cross-voted in favour of BJP-JJP-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma, who eventually edged out Maken.
Apart from Bishnoi, another MLA, Kiran Choudhry too had “wrongly cast her ballot”, the Congress sources said.
In the final calculation of votes polled, it appeared that Maken lost to Sharma with a margin of barely 2/3rd of a vote (0.66 lesser vote than Sharma).
“The Congress president has expelled Kuldeep Bishnoi from all his present party positions, including the post of special invitee of the Congress Working Committee, with immediate effect,” AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said in a statement.
Bishnoi remained absent from all the party meetings of its legislators prior to the elections and had said that he has voted as per his conscience.
After the results were declared, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar shared that while one Congress vote was rejected, Kuldeep Bishnoi (Congress MLA from Adampur) “voted as per his inner conscience” and “did not vote for Congress nominee Ajay Maken”.
“All the Congress MLAs cast their votes by showing it to their election agent. I am sure Kuldeep Bishnoi also must have done that. Yet, it is welcome that he supported our candidate and voted listening to his inner conscience. He has shown faith in the principles and policies of the BJP. He did not even think what his party is going to do with him after this, but he cast his vote after listening to his heart and mind. We welcome him,” Khattar said on Bishnoi.
Regarding the Congress’s rejected vote, Khattar said, “It is for the Congress to tell us all. I am not yet aware whose vote was rejected.”
The Haryana Assembly has 90 members. The ruling camp accounted for 58 votes including the BJP’s 40 MLAs, JJP’s 10, one each of Haryana Lokhit Party and INLD, and six Independent MLAs.
The Congress originally accounted for 31 votes, of which one was cancelled and one was used for cross-voting for the ruling camp making the latter’s tally 59.