Haryana Congress MLA from Adampur, Kuldeep Bishnoi, fired a fresh salvo at the party high command, hinting that the party is making decisions under pressure and the influence of money.
In a tweet posted Saturday morning, Bishnoi wrote, “Like late Indira ji, late Rajiv ji too had an eye for talent and took decisions on merits, that is why Congress was an undefeated force. When any party takes decisions under pressure or money influence it is certain to sink. We miss the eternal #Rajiv ji, the architect of modern India”.
In the same tweet, Bishnoi also attached four pictures of his father Bhajan Lal, a veteran Congress leader and former chief minister of Haryana along with Rajeev Gandhi, who was assassinated on May 21, 1991.
Haryana’s party affairs in-charge, Vivek Bansal, told The Indian Express, “I am meeting Kuldeep Bishnoi tomorrow. The things will be sorted out soon. I am in touch with him”.
Citing himself as a prominent non-Jat leader in Haryana Congress, Kuldeep had been strongly lobbying for the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president’s post. While the party high command considered him, his name was eventually dropped in the final list announced last month by general secretary KC Venugopal. Two days before the announcement, Bishnoi also had a lengthy meeting with Venugopal at the latter’s residence in New Delhi. Bishnoi later told the media that the meeting went “well” and “positive discussions” were held. However, he also said that he was instructed to “not divulge any more details of the meeting”.
Despite the “positive” meeting, the party high command went on to choose Udai Bhan, a Dalit leader and a loyalist of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, appointing him as the HPCC president. He was replaced by Congress veteran Kumari Selja as the party’s Dalit leader. To defuse factional feuds, the high command also appointed four working presidents — one each from the Hooda, Kiran Choudhry, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Selja camps. They are Shruti Choudhry (Kiran’s daughter), Ram Kishan Gujjar (Selja loyalist), Jitender Kumar Bhardwaj (Hooda loyalist), and Suresh Gupta (Surjewala loyalist).
Bishnoi was nowhere to be seen. Ever since that announcement, he has been trying to schedule a meeting with Rahul Gandhi but has not got an appointment yet.
Bishnoi’s meeting with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar raised many eyebrows within the Congress, and various party leaders have begun to speak for and against Bishnoi. The meet sparked speculations that he may quit Congress.
Capt Ajay Yadav, another Congress rebel who has been skipping the party’s events in Haryana, on Saturday said “My congratulations to Kuldeep Bishnoi if he has joined BJP”. However, Yadav added that if Bishnoi stayed patient and remained in Congress, he may even become the Chief Minister.
Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that “Congress was strong, is and will be” and steered clear of concerns of Bishnoi leaving the party. “The organization will be stronger in the coming days and Congress will overthrow the BJP-JJP government in Haryana,” Hooda said.
Unlike Hooda, Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal addressed the issue, saying that Bishnoi shall continue to be a part of Congress and would not quit the party.