Rajasthan: Governor relents to CM Ashok Gehlot’s demand for Assembly session, but there’s a catch

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Updated: Jul 27, 2020 4:16 PM

In the 200-ember House, the Congress has 107 MLAs of which 19 face disqualification including sacked CM Sachin Pilot. The BJP has 72 MLAs.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra has agreed to summon a special Assembly session. (File pic)

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Monday said he will summon a special Assembly session if the Ashok Gehlot government agrees on giving 21 days notice. The Raj Bhawan said in a statement that “not convening the Assembly was never the intention”.

“Rajasthan Governor will summon an assembly session if the state government agrees on giving 21-day notice,” Raj Bhawan sources told PTI.

The development comes hours after the Governor returned a cabinet note to the Ashok Gehlot government seeking an assembly session and asked for additional information. This was the second time that the Governor had returned the proposal and sought clarifications from the state government.

The state cabinet had on Saturday sent a revised proposal to the Governor for calling the Assembly session from July 31. The proposal came a day after the Governor returned the government’s first proposal. Returning the first proposal, Governor Mishra had sought clarifications on six points.

Returning the second proposal, the Governor asked, “Do you want to move Motion of Confidence? It’s not mentioned in the proposal but you have been speaking about it in media.”

“It will be difficult to call all the MLAs for the Assembly Session in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Can you consider giving a 21-day notice over the convening of Assembly Session?” he asked, according to ANI sources.

Earlier, the Congress MLAs belonging to Ashok Gehlot camp held a five-hour dharna on the lawns of the Raj Bhawan pressing for a special Assembly session.

The Congress government in Rajasthan is facing a political crisis after deputy CM Sachin Pilot’s rebellion. Pilot was sacked as deputy CM and state Congress’ chief. Later, the Congress party filed a complaint with Speaker CP Joshi to disqualify Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs. The matter reached the High Court and is now pending before the Supreme Court.

After the High Court’s Friday verdict wherein it ordered a status quo on Speaker’s action against the rebel MLAs, the Congress MLAs pressed the Governor to convene a special session and went to the Raj Bhawan to meet him.

The Congress wants to hold the session so that it can prove its majority. Convening a special Assembly session means that the party can issue a whip and Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs will have to abide by the party whip, failing which the Speaker can initiate the disqualification process.

In the 200-ember House, the Congress has 107 MLAs of which 19 face disqualification. The Congress claims to enjoy the support of independents at a few small parties. The BJP has 72 MLAs.

Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident MLAs are staying at a resort on the Jaipur-Gurugram highway while Ashok Gehlot camp MLAs are staying at a resort on the outskirts of Jaipur since the crisis came to fore a fortnight ago.

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