Will stage protest outside PM’s residence, if required, says Gehlot

Governor had asked Gehlot govt why it wanted to call an Assembly session to secure a vote of confidence if it already had the majority

Gehlot, who is facing a revolt by some Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot, chaired a meeting with Congress MLAs. Photo: ANI

Amid the political turmoil in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday (July 25) said he would even stage a protest outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence and meet President Ram Nath Kovind to make sure that the “conspiracy of the BJP” to topple the Congress government in the state did not succeed, NDTV reported.

A day after having a late-night discussion on questions raised by Governor Kalraj Mishra on the Rajasthan government’s proposal to convene a session of the assembly, Gehlot held a meeting with Congress MLAs to revise the proposal. The Chief Minister also had a separate meeting with his cabinet colleagues.

On Friday (July 24), Gehlot, who is facing a revolt by some Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot, chaired a meeting of the Cabinet to discuss the points raised by the governor on its earlier proposal. “Discussions on the points raised by the governor with regard to calling the Assembly session were held in the meeting last night,” a source said.

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The Congress government is pushing for a session of the Assembly so that the Chief Minister can prove his majority on the floor of the House after the Rajasthan High Court on Friday ordered that status quo should be maintained on the disqualification notices sent out by the Speaker to Pilot and 18 other MLAs.

The Governor on Friday asked the Ashok Gehlot government why it wanted to call an Assembly session to secure a vote of confidence if it already had the majority. The governor posed the query in a six-point questionnaire entailing a note sent by the Raj Bhawan to the state Parliament Affairs Department, the Raj Bhawan said in a statement.

In his note to the state government, Mishra emphasised that no one is above the Constitutional dignity and no pressure politics should be resorted to. He also pointed out that neither had any date for convening the session been mentioned in the Cabinet note, annexed with the government’s request, nor had the Cabinet given its approval to it.

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The government has neither given any reason for calling the session on such a short notice nor proposed any agenda for it, said the governor, pointing out that a 21-day notice is mandatory for calling an Assembly session. In the statement, the Raj Bhawan added that Mishra had also asked the government to ensure the independence and freedom of movement of all members of the legislative assembly.

On Friday, the Chief Minister said that a letter was forwarded to the governor on Thursday night for calling the session, but he had not taken any decision on it. Congress MLAs loyal to Gehlot on Friday held a five-hour sit-in at the Raj Bhawan to press for an Assembly session.

The Congress said it ended the sit-in following an assurance from the governor that he will abide by Article 174 of the Constitution, after getting some clarifications from the Chief Minister. The provision deals with the governor’s role in summoning a session of the assembly.

(With inputs from agencies)

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