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Who is Kuldeep Bishnoi? Why was he expelled by Congress?

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Kuldeep Bishnoi was also a member of the Congress party’s Central Working Committee. (File)

New Delhi: The Congress party on Saturday took strict action against Kuldeep Bishnoi for cross-voting in Haryana Rajya Sabha elections. The party expelled Bishnoi from all posts, including special invitee to the Congress Working Committee. “Congress President 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,” the Congress said in a statement.

Who is Kuldeep Bishnoi and why was he expelled by the Congress?

Kuldeep Bishnoi is a Congress MLA from Haryana’s Adampur. He was also a member of the Congress party’s Central Working Committee. He is the son of Bhajan Lal, three-time Chief Minister of Haryana. He first became the Member of Legislative from Adampur in 1998. The seat is a family pocket borough from where his family hasn’t lost since in 1968.

In 2007, Bishnoi had been expelled from the Congress for criticising then Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, alleging that he had been harming the interests of farmers by promoting economic zones.

In 2009, the party won six seats but five of the MLAs defected to the Congress. In 2016, he merged his Haryana Janhit Congress with the Congress. In 2019, he defeated social media star Sonali Phogat from Adampur.

On Friday, he cross-voted for a candidate backed by JJP and BJP. Due to his cross-voting, senior Congress leader Ajay Maken lost the elections.

Before the elections, it was believed that Ajay Maken will sail through. However, he was edged out by JJP-backed Kartikeya Sharma. Sharma received 29.6 votes, whereas Maken received 29 votes. The second seat was won comfortably by the BJP candidate.

Three developments that took place on the floor of the house decided Maken’s fate — Kuldeep Bishnoi’s cross-voting, absenteeism by an Independent MLA and disqualification of a Congress vote.

Ajay Maken had called for strict action against Bishnoi for cross-voting. He also raised doubts over the decision to disqualify a Congress MLA’s vote. “We objected that one vote which was given to independent should be cancelled. But our vote was cancelled and their rejected vote was accepted. We’re getting this examined legally,” he told the news agency ANI.

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