Cross-voters upset party equations in Rajya Sabha polls

Khushwaha (48), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Dholpur, voted for Congress nominee Pramod Tiwari. She has been suspended by the saffron party, pending an inquiry, and has also been issued a show-cause notice to explain her position.

The "demolition of homes due to protests" is listed as a starred question in the Rajya Sabha.(File/Photo)

Rajasthan’s BJP legislator Shobharani Khushwaha, Congress’s Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi and JD(S) lawmaker from Karnataka Srinivas Gowda disturbed the calculations of their respective parties by cross-voting in the just-concluded Rajya Sabha election.

Khushwaha (48), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Dholpur, voted for Congress nominee Pramod Tiwari. She has been suspended by the saffron party, pending an inquiry, and has also been issued a show-cause notice to explain her position.

The two-time MLA belongs to the backward Khushwaha community.

She allegedly voted in favour of the Congress to defeat BJP-supported Independent candidate Subhash Chandra.

In a statement, Khushwaha has alleged that media organisations run by Chandra had campaigned against her and thus, the members of the Khushwaha community did not support him.

She has also alleged that the BJP had asked her to vote for Chandra, who was openly talking about cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha election and misusing money power.

Khushwaha has also accused the senior BJP leadership of not supporting the party candidates in the panchayat and civic polls to the Dholpur Nagar Parishad, due to which the Congress won.

She has said she had not gone to the BJP to seek a ticket for herself but the party came to her to give the ticket.

Khushwaha has also said she does not wish to remain in a party that deliberately indulges in activities to defeat its own candidates and thanked the BJP for initiating action against her.

Bishnoi did not cast his vote in favour of Congress nominee Ajay Maken and cross-voted, saying he exercised his franchise after hearing the voice of his conscience.

The Congress has removed Bishnoi from all party positions.

Bishnoi is a four-time MLA and currently represents the Adampur Assembly seat in Hisar. He has also been a two-time parliamentarian.

Bishnoi is the son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, who ruled the state for a long time. He has also been in the BJP, after he initially floated his own outfit — the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL). He is also the patron of the Akhil Bharatiya Bishnoi Mahasabha.

Bishnoi had not attended the meetings of the party MLAs organised in support of Maken. Neither had he gone to Raipur, where the Congress legislators were holed up in a resort ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.

Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Gowda voted for the Congress and openly said that he did so.

“I have voted for the Congress as I love it,” the Kolar MLA said.

The JD(S) is likely to expel Gowda, who has claimed that he will join the Congress soon.

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