Haryana’s Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who was expelled from all party positions by the Congress after he cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls in June, is all set to join the BJP on August 4, sources close to him said. The sources said Bishnoi, who is the younger son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, is likely to resign as MLA before joining the BJP. Bishnoi too on Tuesday gave an indication that he is joining the BJP.
“August 4, 2022, 10.10 am,” tweeted Bishnoi on Tuesday which was soon afterward followed by another tweet by him, “Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a chance to build something better this time.” In recent weeks, Bishnoi had held meetings with top BJP leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief J P Nadda and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Over a week ago, Bishnoi had met Nadda and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Delhi and discussed political issues with them.
On July 10, Bishnoi met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda in Delhi. After meeting the BJP leaders, Bishnoi heaped praise on them.
The 53-year-old legislator was expelled by Congress from all party positions last month. Since then, he has been warming up to the BJP.
On his frequent meetings with BJP leaders in recent weeks and the possibility that he may switch over to the party, former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda had maintained that the Adampur legislator is free to take his own decision, but he should resign as an MLA before doing so. Bishnoi, a four-time MLA, and two-time MP, has been sulking ever since the Congress ignored him for the post of its Haryana unit chief during a revamp earlier this year.
The party appointed Hooda loyalist Udai Bhan as its Haryana unit chief. After cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha polls in June, Bishnoi had posted a cryptic tweet saying, “I know how to crush a snake’s hood. I do not leave the jungle in fear of snakes.” On his expulsion from the party, Bishnoi had earlier said the Congress has rules for some leaders and exceptions for others. Rules are applied selectively. Indiscipline has been repeatedly ignored in the past. In my case, I listened to my soul and acted on my morals.
The Congress, which is the main opposition party in Haryana, was assured of one Rajya Sabha seat by virtue of the number of MLAs it has in the 90-member assembly. However, Congress candidate Ajay Maken failed to secure the berth after Bishnoi cross-voted while the vote of an MLA was declared invalid. BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and the saffron party-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma were elected to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana.
Bishnoi and his father Bhajan Lal had floated the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) in 2007 after the Congress handpicked Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the chief minister’s post following the party’s thumping victory in the assembly polls. The HJC later entered into a tie-up with the BJP and two other parties, who jointly contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Haryana. They were supposed to contest the assembly polls together as well but the alliance crumbled. Around six years ago, Bishnoi returned to the Congress fold. However, despite his return to Congress, Bishnoi and Hooda never had warm relations.
(With inputs from PTI)