Rajya Sabha polls: Congress to suspend Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi for cross voting

Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who cross-voted in Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana, may soon be removed from membership of the Congress Working Committee (Special Invitee) and suspended from the party, Congress sources said.

The party will also write to the Speaker to get his Membership cancelled from Assembly, Congress sources said.

In Haryana, Congress candidate Ajay Maken lost the Rajya Sabha elections to media baron Kartikeya Sharma, the BJP-backed independent candidate, by a “narrow margin”, a huge shock for the grand old party which was confident of winning the seat.

“By a very very, very narrow margin, Ajay Maken has lost,” Haryana Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Batra told reporters after the results of the polls held on Friday came in.

Polling was held on June 10 to elect two members to the Upper House of Parliament from Haryana. BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar scored a comfortable victory with 31 votes, leaving the battle for the second seat between Maken and Sharma.

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Amid allegations of cross-voting and rule violations, the counting of votes was delayed and there was a recounting of votes that went on past midnight.

Out of 90 MLAs in the Haryana Legislative Assembly, independent candidate Balraj Kundu abstained and a vote of Congress was rejected leaving 88 votes valid. Sharma, who was backed by the BJP and its ally Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), got 29.6 votes while Maken received 29 votes.

Commenting on Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, the Chief Minister said that he voted openly after listening to his “inner conscience”.

“He (Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi) has voted openly after listening to his inner conscience. I can say that he has faith in PM Modi’s policies and ideology. He didn’t even think what Congress party is going to do with him after this,” he added.

After the Congress lost the seat, Bishnoi, MLA from Adampur, tweeted a cryptic message today.”I have the ability to crush the snake’s hood. Do not leave the forest because of the fear of snakes. good morning,” he tweeted.

Before the polling day, both the BJP-JJP alliance and Congress legislators were shifted to resorts to slash possibilities of poaching. While the BJP-JJP alliance had lodged their MLAs in a resort in Chandigarh, the Congress leaders were moved to a resort in Delhi.

The polling to elect the members of the Upper House of the Parliament on 16 Rajya Sabha seats spread across four states took place on June 10 amid speculations of horse-trading and fears of cross-voting.Last week, 41 candidates from 11 states- Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Telangana were elected unopposed.

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