Parties fight internal fault lines after Rajya Sabha polls

Rajat Kain

FILE: File photo of Congress party top leadership at a press conference in AICC headquarters, New Delhi.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File photo of Congress party top leadership at a press conference in AICC headquarters, New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

Wrangling has emerged within the political parties after Saturday’s Rajya Sabha polls, especially in Congress party which got a big jolt in Haryana where 14 of its votes were declared invalid thereby making way for the opposition candidate. Among other political parties, JD(S) has suspended eight of its MLAs in Karnataka, while the BJP has sacked one UP lawmaker for cross-voting.

Even though Congress party has decided to move Election Commission, the events in Haryana have inflicted a serious damage with speculations of internal sabotage, over-ruling the directive of its top leadership.

Congress leadership, with 19 MLAs in the house, had thrown its weight behind INLD’s RK Anand but BJP-backed media baron Subhash Chandra got past the winning line after the votes of its 14 MLAs were declared invalid. The party is now alleging a “misuse of government machinery” on the part of incumbent BJP-run state government.

“A probe by the Election Commission should be sought. This truth will come out in 24 hours,” Congress general secretary BK Hariprasad said.

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda addressing a rally in during Assembly Elections. Courtersy: Twitter/Bhupinder-Hooda

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda addressing a rally in during Assembly Elections.
Courtersy: Twitter/Bhupinder-Hooda

It has further gone on alleging “fraud” in the election by switching the writing instrument, here a pen, meant for marking the votes so as to make the Congress votes invalid.

“Never before I have heard or even imagined that conspiracy of this level could be hatched. I can say with firm belief that a conspiracy was hatched to enable victory of BJP-backed candidate,” former CM and senior leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said in his reaction.

RK Anand, who had in 2004 unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls on Congress ticket, was the party’s choice, even though a section of its state unit, especially Hooda and MLAs owing allegiance to him, were against Anand for he was INLD’s nominee. The consensus was finally reported to have reached within the party ranks after its high command endorsed backing for RK Anand. INLD and the Congress are arch rivals in Haryana politics for long.

With the speculations of internal sabotage rife, Congress top leadership is likely to seek explanation from Hooda. Under fire, the former CM is now demanding forensic examination of the pens used to cast votes.

FILE Photo of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. Photo - PTI

FILE Photo of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
Photo – PTI

Meanwhile, in Karnataka, JD(S) suspended its eight MLAs who voted against its official candidate BM Farooq and supported Congress in the biennial polls.

Businessman BM Farooq, could secure 33 votes against the party strength of 40, thereby loosing and paving way for Congress’s third candidate K C Ramamurthy. Other two Congress candidate – Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes – were comfortably elected given its own strength in the legislative assembly.

Stuck by the debacle, JD(S) National President and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has announced the suspension of all the eight MLAs.

Even BJP could not avoid an embarrassment in Uttar Pradesh as its Gorakhpur MLA Vijay Bahadur Yadav cross-voted in the favour of Samajwadi Party candidate on Saturday. Vijay Bahadur Yadav has been suspended by the party from its legislature group.

But Yadav, on the other hand, seems to be defiant. “I voted on the basis of development done by the Chief Minister and I am ready to make any sacrifice,” he said.

(With inputs from the Agencies)