Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra said that a trust motion is an activity of the House and it is the decision of the Chief Minister in the present circumstances.
Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra has refuted allegations of partisanship levelled against him by the ruling Congress in the state. The Governor said that he was not ruling out calling the session and underlined that he had gone entirely by the rules in convening a special Assembly session. In an interview with The Indian Express, Mishra said that the delay was caused only because of the Ashok Gehlot cabinet which was not ready to explain the agenda to convene the regular Monsoon Session at a short notice.
Mishra said he raised questions because the “situation is not normal”. “The Raj Bhavan questioned the urgency of summoning the House, asked about the arrangements regarding safety of more than 1,000 people who would be in the House, and whether the government would seek a trust vote or not,” he said.
When Mishra was asked if it is right for a Governor to get into House seating arrangements, he replied that Covid is the responsibility of the entire state machinery and as the Governor, he was trying to ensure safety of the people.
Mishra spoke to The Indian Express hours before he accepted the Ashok Gehlot government’s fourth proposal to convene a session of the Legislative Assembly from August 14. He had earlier thrice returned the Ashok Gehlot Cabinet’s proposal, saying a session can be called at short notice if the agenda is to seek a vote of confidence. Otherwise, 21 days’ notice is needed, he had told the state Cabinet. According to reports, the Congress government agreed to the 21-day notice requirement on which Governor Kalraj Mishra was insisting. The Cabinet counted the 21 days from July 23, when its first proposal was sent.
“The Governor is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers but I was not ruling out calling the session,” he said, adding that as per provisions of Article 174, the Governor is bound by the decision/recommendations made by the state cabinet.
To a question on CM moving a trust motion when the Assembly is convened, he said, “The trust motion is an activity of the House. It is the decision of the Chief Minister in the present circumstances.”
When asked why he was insisting on protocols for a floor test when the Ashok Gehlot government was not making any formal mention and also the opposition was silent, Mishra said, “The Chief Minister is telling the media that he wants a trust vote in the Assembly but the Governor is not summoning the House. This is the reason I asked the state government that if you are going in for a trust vote, you should follow the conditions laid down in various judgments by the Supreme Court.”
None of the proposals sent by the state cabinet to the Governor mentioned whether the government wants to hold a vote of confidence in the House. But it is being stated that a vote of confidence is on the agenda when the Assembly meets.
Rejecting the ruling Congress’ charge of acting under pressure from the BJP, he said, “There is no partisanship.” “I am advising the state government as per the provisions of the Legislative Assembly rules and Articles 174 and 163 of the Constitution.”
On mentioning of law and order issues after Ashok Gehlot’s last week gherao the Raj Bhavan remark, the Governor said that it was not right on the part of the Chief Minister to make proactive statements. Mishra said that he was pained at his statement that the state government will not be responsible if people gherao Raj Bhavan.
“So I asked the CM about the law and order situation in the state. Now, on the new proposal sent by the state Cabinet, I am summoning the House from 14th August,” he said.
Convening a session means that the Ashok Gehlot government will have an opportunity to checkmate Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident Congress MLAs. The Congress can issue a whip and the Sachin Pilot camp will have to abide by the party whip, failing which the Speaker can initiate the disqualification process.
The 19 MLAs were granted relief last week by the Rajasthan High Court that ordered a status quo on Speaker CP Joshi’s disqualification proceedings against them.
In the 200-member House, the Congress has 107 MLAs which includes 19 rebels. The BJP has 72 MLAs.