The Congress on Tuesday expelled six members of legislative assembly, including one from Amethi, who cross voted in the Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh against party candidate Kapil Sibal last week.
The MLAs who have been expelled for six years are Sanjay Pratap Jayaswal (Basti district), Madhuri Verma (Bahraich), Vijay Dube (Kushinagar), Mohammed Muslim (Tiloi-Amethi), Dil Nawaz Khan (Bulandshahar) and Nawab Kasim Ali Khan (Rampur).
All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardan Dwivedi announced the decision in presence of senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who was the party's authorized representative in the RS elections in Uttar Pradesh last Saturday.
Sibal edged past Preeti Mahapatra, put up by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the cliffhanger and secured his Rajya Sabha berth with support from other parties.
With only 25 first preference votes to his credit and his final tally adding up to 34, Sibal fared only marginally better than his Legislative Council colleague Deepak Singh did in Uttar Pradesh polls on Friday.
Azad, who is now AICC general secretary in charge of UP, said while three of the six expelled MLAs voted in favour of the BJP, three others sided with the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Azad, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, utilised the occasion to target the BJP alleging that the cross voting in Uttar Pradesh and the controversy in Haryana showed that the saffron party went all out to win the polls through ‘misuse of power’.
Attacking the BJP for putting up Mahapatra as an additional candidate when it had as many as 27 less votes, he said this was the first such example he was seeing in his long political career.
Taking a jibe at the Prime Minister, he said while Narendra Modi talks of cooperative federalism on the one hand, the ruling party at the Centre uses money power and government influence to win RS elections through unfair means.
Alleging the involvement of government of India in the ‘big conspiracy’ in RS elections in Haryana, he said this portends danger for democracy.