The Congress was left red-faced as it elected a youth wing general secretary in Madhya Pradesh who had long left the party, NDTV reported on Tuesday. Harshit Singhai had quit the Congress in March, when several party MLAs and workers left with Jyotiraditya Scindia to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Youth Congress’ organisational election results were announced on December 18, and Singhai was elected by 12 votes. The same day, Singhai received congratulatory messages over his new post in Jabalpur.

“The most laughable is the fact that no one was interested in the polls and I was elected general secretary,” he told reporters. “I left the Congress on March 10 with Scindia-ji. I filled in my nomination for the Youth Congress polls three years ago.”

Singhai said he had requested the party to drop his name after he joined the BJP but nothing was done. “When I called again, they asked me to send a mail explaining the circumstances in which I left the party,” he added. “I had written to Kamal Nath [former Madhya Pradesh chief minister] and Rahul Gandhi. This is what the Youth Congress has done across Madhya Pradesh. Those who are not in the party anymore are being elected.”

Former state Youth Congress chief Kunal Chaudhary, however, accused Singhai of lying about withdrawing his nomination. He added that the appointment was cancelled as soon as the error was flagged. MP Youth Congress election coordinator Maqsood Mirza called it BJP’s “cheap publicity stunt”, reported the Hindustan Times. The Congress has now set up a “disciplinary committee” to investigate who was responsible for the mistake.