Even as the war of words between Congress and his rebel, Kuldeep Bishnoi, escalates, the latter is waiting for his time, keeping his ties to the party for all official purposes.
Angry Bishnoi defies party orders during recent Rajya Sabha electionsMuch to her embarrassment, Congress removed him from all positions, including on the Congressional Action Committee. Since then, Bishnoi has struck hard against rivals within the party, and the latter responded in kind.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Bishnoi described the appointment of Udai Bhan, loyal to Bhubinder Singh Hooda, as President of Congress in Haryana as an “absolute disaster”. Bhan responded, “Voters are slapping those who don’t value their vote, and in the upcoming 2024 Assembly polls in Haryana, we’ll see who gets that slapped.” Bhan also accused Bishnoi of opposing his candidacy for president of Haryana because he is a Dalit.
Bishnoi has been grouchy since Bhan’s appointment, unmoved by his ambitions to become chief of Haryana, or his anger at being sidelined by the Hooda camp. Bishnoi was not even considered for the position of the four Labor Chiefs. In an interview with The Indian Express, he also attacked Rahul Gandhi, calling him “an unreachable leader who makes decisions under pressure”.
However, nearly 10 days after Congress moved against him – to vote for independent BJP-backed Kartikeya Sharma in place of party candidate Ajay Makin – and promised to announce his “next course of action” soon, Bishnoi has yet to reveal his papers. While speculation has swirled that Bishnoi will join the BJP, his Twitter handle still shows pictures of his father Bhajan Lal with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, as well as Bishnu with Rahul and Sonia Gandhi.
His close aides said that Bishnoi, who has taken many political turns in his career, is balancing his choices between the BJP and the Adami public party. Prime Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and BJP state president Om Prakash Dankar, along with several other senior party leaders, have publicly welcomed Bishnoi. Aside from his political lineage, Bishnoi has also brought to the table two terms as Member of Parliament Lok Sabha and is currently on his fourth assignment as an MLA.
With silence extending from the end of Bishnoi, Hooda recently challenged that if he was too confident in his supporters, he should resign and compete in a secondary order to prove it. Bishnoi answered correctly, saying, “Hoda should know that the Bhajan Lal family has competed and won four competitions, all of which were against the governments then. Hooda should rather try to compete against me or my son Bhavya Bishnoi.”