The Congress on Saturday expelled Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi from all party posts after he voted for an Independent candidate backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajya Sabha elections.
Bishnoi on Friday voted for Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma instead of Congress leader Ajay Maken, who lost the elections. Bishnoi is the MLA from the Adampur constituency in the Hisar district.
“[Congress chief Sonia Gandhi] has expelled Shri Kuldeep Bishnoi from all his present party positions, including the post of Special Invitee of the Congress Working Committee, with immediate effect,” party General Secretary KC Venugopal said.
Bishnoi alleged that Congress rules apply to some leaders and makes exceptions for some others. “Rules are applied selectively,” he said on Twitter. “Indiscipline has been repeatedly ignored in the past. In my case, I listened to my soul and acted on my morals.”
On Saturday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that Bishnoi showed faith in the principles and policies of the BJP.
“All the Congress MLAs cast their votes by showing it to their election agent,” he said. “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.”
Earlier this month, the Congress had taken several of its MLAs to a resort in Chhattisgarh in a bid to thwart poaching attempts by rival parties. However, Bishnoi did not go to the resort, according to The Indian Express.
He had also stayed away from other party events, including the Chintan Shivir, an introspection meeting, that took place in Udaipur in May. This was after the Congress revamped its Haryana unit and overlooked him for the post of state chief.
The BJP on Saturday won eight out of the 16 vacant seats of the Rajya Sabha. The Congress, along with allies in Maharashtra, bagged seven seats. BJP-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma won the remaining seat.