A month after the Congress in Haryana removed Kuldeep Bishnoi from all party posts for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections, the MLA from Adampur tweeted Sunday pictures of his meetings in New Delhi with senior BJP leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the party’s national president JP Nadda. He also removed the pictures of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi from his Twitter account this morning, all but confirming that he is set to leave the Congress and join the BJP.
“It was a real honor and a pleasure to meet Mr @amitshah ji. A true statesman, I felt his aura and charisma in my interactions with him. His vision for India is awe-inspiring,” Bishnoi said in a tweet in Hindi.
According to the Congress, Bishnoi did not vote forAjay Maken, the party’s candidate from Haryana and cross-voted in favour of the BJP-Jannayak Janta Party (JJP)-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma, who eventually edged out Maken in the Rajya Sabha polls held on June 10.
Bishnoi’s decision not to vote for the Congress came after the party sidelined him in favour of naming Udai Bhan, a Bhupinder Hooda loyalist, as the Haryana Congress president. Bishnoi was not even considered for the post of four working presidents. In an interview to The Indian Express, he took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi, calling him “an inaccessible leader who takes decisions under pressure.”
Bishnoi, A four-time MLA and a two-time MP, was widely expected to quit the Congress ever since. He said he was being approached by the BJP, Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) but had yet to announce his choice. Bishnoi though ruled out joining the JJP, which he dubbed a “choti-moti party” (a small party).
Sources close to Bishnoi had earlier told The Indian Express that he was yet to make up his mind on whether to revive his own Haryana Janhit Congress or join the BJP.
Over the last month, Bishnoi issued statements that he would announce his next course of action after talking to his supporters. He held several rounds of open public meetings at his residence and in several villages of his constituency the Hisar district.
However, Bishnoi’s attacks on social media targetting Opposition leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, as well as Congress party high command, continued unabated over the last few weeks.
In an apparent reference to the party high command, Bishnoi tweeted recently: “We must learn who is gold and who is simply gold plated… Good morning”.
A few days ago, he tweeted that “it was not necessary that everybody can understand everything because a weighing scale can only reveal the weight, but not the quality”.
On June 22, the day the Haryana civic poll results were announced, Bishnoi took a dig at the high command for allegedly giving a free hand to Hooda in the state. In a sarcastic tweet, he said: “The trends of free hand have started coming in,” while tagging a news clip that mentioned how Hooda-supported candidates were trailing in the former chief minister’s strongholds Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bahadurgarh and Meham.