Kuldeep Bishnoi
File photo of Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi | Twitter: ANI
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Chandigarh: Haryana Congress leader and Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi Thursday made it clear that he is not joining the BJP, but reiterated his stance that Congress leadership is not able to retain young leaders.

This comes a day after he congratulated former Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Chaturvedi on Twitter for their entry to Rajya Sabha.

Bishnoi tweeted a video message this afternoon, saying that he was a born Congressman and will not leave the party at any cost. He, however, added that the “exit” of Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia has caused a big loss to the party.

Bishnoi requested the Congress to look within and promote leaders with a mass base rather than those who didn’t even win any elections for the past 30-35 years.

“Sachin and Jyoti are my personal friends and that is why I tweeted about them. This has led to the BJP saying that I wanted to join them. But let me make it clear I have no intentions of joining the BJP. I am a true Congressman and I will not leave my party. Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are the two leaders I follow and even though that has led me to trouble, I will continue to do so,” he said in the video message.

Bishnoi added that Pilot and Scindia leaving the party had caused damage, and there was a sense of despair among their supporters and workers in the party. 

He also said the only way to counter the BJP was to promote mass leaders. “To those who have not won elections for many years now, should be given other responsibilities,” he said in the video with folded hands. 


Also read: Why Pilot, Scindia haven’t done what Mamata, Pawar and Jagan did — launch a new party


Not the first time

In March this year, when Scindia left the Congress to join the BJP, Bishnoi had tweeted about alleged resentment and disillusionment among Congress leaders across the country.

Bishnoi Wednesday tweeted a picture of him with Scindia and Pilot, congratulating the former for his entry into the Rajya Sabha. 

“Many congratulations @JM_Scindia. A well deserved one,” he wrote.

 

Bishnoi also congratulated former Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, who had also been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Shiv Sena. She had left the Congress to join Shiv Sena last April.

 

In another tweet, Bishnoi also congratulated Deepender Singh Hooda, son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, for his nomination to the Rajya Sabha.

 

Bishnoi’s tweets triggered speculations that he might be joining the BJP or that he must be sending signals to his own party that he too was among those unhappy in the Congress and wanted to change over. 

Exit and merger with Congress

Bishnoi is the son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and his family has a stronghold on the family’s pocket borough seat, Hisar. He has remained a two-term MP from Hisar and Bhiwani. His son Bhavya Bishnoi had unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary elections last year from the Hisar seat. 

Bhajan Lal was trumped by Hooda in 2005 to the post of chief minister and he went on to found the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC). 

“We never left the Congress. We only said that the real Congress in Haryana was the Janhit Congress,” said Bishnoi in the video message.

The HJC tied up with BJP following Bhajan Lal’s death in 2011 and Bishnoi won the bypoll from Hisar. However, the HJC-BJP alliance ended in 2014 and in 2016, following a meeting between Bishnoi and Rahul Gandhi, the HJC merged with the Congress. 

“I have never gone and joined the BJP. It was they who had come and sought an alliance,” he explained in the video.


Also read: Pilot, Scindia rebellion not because of top leadership. Congress’ crisis is structural


 

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