Gehlot govt on tenterhooks as SC to decide on Speaker’s plea

From launching a digital campaign against the BJP to accusing the Governor of not convening the Assembly at the behest of the Centre, the ruling Congress keeps itself busy on Sunday

Since July 12, the Congress government in Rajasthan is facing a political crisis after a rebellion by Pilot and 18 other MLAs. Photo: PTI (File)

The Congress government in Rajasthan, led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, is on tenterhooks as the Supreme Court is set to hear on Monday (July 27) Speaker CP Joshi’s petition against a Rajasthan High Court order directing him to defer disqualification proceedings against former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress MLAs.

From launching a digital campaign against the BJP to accusing Governor Kalraj Mishra of not convening the Assembly at the behest of the Centre, the Congress kept itself busy on Sunday (July 26). As the party awaits the apex court hearing that could change the shape of the state’s political course, here is how the day unfolded:

  • After the Cabinet, led by Gehlot, submitted a revised proposal on the convening of the Assembly, Raj Bhawan sources on Sunday confirmed that the Governor had received the proposal. It was submitted following an assurance from the Governor that he would abide by the Constitution but not act under any pressure.
  • However, as Mishra did not take action even on the revised proposal, the Congress came down heavily on the Governor, saying he was delaying” the trust vote allegedly at the behest of the Centre and resorting to the “worst kind of obstruction of democracy” by raising “superficial and motivated” queries on the state government’s demand.
  • The Congress also launched a nationwide digital campaign, #SpeakUpForDemocracy, and hit out at the BJP for its “attempts to violate constitutional and democratic traditions”. Congress leaders also accused the saffron party of trying to destabilise the Rajasthan government during a health emergency.
  • Congress general secretary and the party’s Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande said the Gehlot-led government in the state was trying its best to control the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also been appreciated globally. At such a time, the BJP is trying to destabilise the elected government in the state, he alleged.
  • Participating in the online campaign, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said democracy in the country would function in accordance with the Constitution and echo the voice of the people, who would reject the BJP’s “conspiracy of deceit and deception”. A large number of party leaders participated in the digital campaign.
  • Announcing that Congress workers would stage protests in front of all Raj Bhawans across the country on Monday (July 27,) party leader Ajay Maken accused the Centre of conspiring to topple the Congress governments in various states, instead of fighting the financial crisis, COVID-19 and China.
  • Meanwhile, another Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said the party should have settled the leadership issue earlier and it is “high time” that a full-time president was appointed by “selection or election”. He asserted that the Congress Working Committee (CWC), comprising senior leaders, should have dealt with the issue on priority.

Since July 12, the Congress government in Rajasthan is facing a political crisis after a rebellion by Pilot and 18 other MLAs. The Speaker issued a disqualification notice to the 19 MLAs on July 14, after the Congress complained to him that the legislators had defied a whip to attend two legislature party meetings the previous week.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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