Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned from the Haryana Assembly on Wednesday, PTI reported. He is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday.
Bishnoi submitted his resignation to Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta. He was the Congress MLA from the Adampur constituency in the Hisar district.
In the Rajya Sabha elections held in June, Bishnoi had cross-voted for an Independent candidate. The 53-year-old voted for Kartikeya Sharma instead of Congress leader Ajay Maken, who lost the elections.
Subsequently, the Congress had expelled Bishnoi from all posts in the party.
After Bishnoi voted for the BJP-backed candidate, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that the Congress legislator had showed faith in the principles and policies of the BJP.
Before the Rajya Sabha elections took place, 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, a four-time MLA and two-time MP, did not go to the resort.
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.
Bishnoi is the younger son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Bishnoi.
This is the second time that Bishnoi has quit the Congress, nearly six years after he made a return to the party.
In 2007, Bishnoi along with his father had launched the Haryana Janhit Congress after the Congress announced Bhupinder Singh Hooda as the chief minister.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Haryana Janhit Congress had formed an alliance with the BJP and two other parties. However, the alliance broke before the polls. Bishnoi returned to the Congress six years ago. However, his relations with Hooda remained sour, according to PTI.
Bishnoi’s son resigns too
Kuldeep Bishnoi’s son Bhavya also announced his resignation from Congress in a tweet on Wednesday.
“For over five decades, my family served the Indian National Congress with diligence and integrity,” he wrote. “It was my grandfather, Bhajan Lal ji, who was instrumental in bringing the INC into power in Haryana on four occasions – the last time being in 2005, when Bhupinder Singh Hooda shamelessly ate the fruits of my grandfather’s labour. Ever since, the Congress party’s vote share has steadily declined in Haryana, and key leaders have left the party.”
Bhavya said that former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had “an eye for talent and rewarded merit” unlike the current leadership in the Congress party.
“As a young politician who recently embarked on my journey of public service, I feel extremely disheartened by and disappointed in the Indian National Congress,” he continued. “I hope that wisdom prevails in the INC’s [Indian National Congress] leadership sooner rather than later. My family feels paralysed and suffocated in the INC, and thus our tryst with the party comes to an end.”