Speaker’s judgement puts question mark on Bishnoi and his wife’s status

A day after Haryana Assembly Speaker held the merger of HJC with the Congress as valid and quashed a bunch of disqualification petitions against five HJC legislators, who had provided a crucial prop to the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in 2009, the judgment has created a peculiar political situation in the state.

While as per Speaker Kuldeep Sharma's order, HJC stands merged with the Congress, the question that now arises is which party Renuka Bishnoi — wife HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi — represents in the Assembly. Renuka was elected on a HJC ticket from Adampur after Kuldeep vacated the seat to contest from Hisar Lok Sabha constituency. In the Lok Sabha as well, Bishnoi is the sole HJC MP.

Satya Pal, Jain who represented Bishnoi in Speaker's court, said: "Renuka represents HJC. Five MLAs joining do not mean that the party has merged with the Congress."

"The BSP has only one member in the Assembly and hence, he is a complete unit of the BSP in the state. Can he merge the BSP with the Congress or any other party?" asked Jain, adding that next week, the HJC will move Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Speaker's order.

Four of the five defector MLAs had claimed that they met at Karnal where Bishnoi was dismissed from the party. The fifth joined the group next day.

The Speaker had said he accepted the merger under provisions of the 10th schedule of the Constitution, which allows such merger provided it was supported by two-third strength of the MLAs. As 75 of 108 primary members of the party decided to merge HJC with the Congress... "consequently, it is claimed that the HJC (BL) ceased to exist on November 8, 2009", he added.

The judgment gives a impression that lack of evidence and witnesses had cost Bishnoi. It stated, "The petitioner appeared as his sole witness in this case. He came in the witness box and then closed evidence... It is strange that at one stage, he refuses to disclose the agenda of the meeting and in next breath, says that it was to endorse the proceedings of a previous meeting... It proves he was a reluctant witness..."

Jain, however, said: "There was no reason for us to present witnesses. They were supposed to bring witnesses because they were to prove that any such meeting was held, which they could not."

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