Rajasthan crisis: Gehlot government insists on July 31 for assembly session, won't mention trust vote in agenda

Sources said the Cabinet took the stand after discussing the suggestions made by Governor when he returned a proposal from the state government to summon a Vidhan Sabha session.

Published: 28th July 2020 06:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2020 06:22 PM   |  A+A-

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot during ‘Save Democracy-Save Constitution’ protest, at a hotel in Jaipur on Monday.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot during ‘Save Democracy-Save Constitution’ protest, at a hotel in Jaipur on Monday. (Photo | PTI)


JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government on Tuesday sent a revised proposal for an assembly session to Governor Kalraj Mishra, sticking to its demand that the sitting should begin on July 31 and refusing to mention if it would seek a trust vote.

Sources said the Cabinet took the stand after discussing the suggestions made by Mishra when he returned a proposal from the state government to summon a Vidhan Sabha session.

Amid nationwide protests by Congress workers over the Governor's apparent reluctance to call a session, Mishra had on Monday said he had no such intention.

But he sought a redrafted proposal, the second time in the past few days, including three points – a 21-day notice for calling a session, live broadcast of the proceedings if there is a trust vote, and social distancing.

In addition, the Governor had written that a session can be called at a short notice if the government says in its new proposal that it planned to seek a vote of confidence.

But sources said the Ashok Gehlot government has not mentioned in its new proposal whether it is seeking a vote of confidence in the assembly session, which it is still insisting should begin on July 31, the date it gave in its last recommendation.

Asked about the agenda of the proposed session, Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said it was for the Business Advisory Committee of the assembly to decide.

On social distancing in the Vidhan Sabha to fight coronavirus, the minister said it was for the Speaker to make the arrangements.

"The BJP stands exposed. They are changing their statements," he said, in an apparent reference to the Speaker's last note.

The minister was also dismissive of the 21-day notice requirement.

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He said '10 days' have already passed since the government proposed a session and asked why the Governor hadn't given a date himself.

"We want permission to call the assembly session, which is our right. We don't want any confrontation with the Governor and we hope that he will give his approval this time," Khachariyawas told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

"He has no right to be raising queries. Yet we are giving a reply," the minister said.

He said there was no rivalry with the Governor.

"He is the head of our family."

In his note, Governor Mishra had said media statements by the state government indicated that it wanted to prove its majority through a vote of confidence, but this has not been mentioned in its proposal.

"If the government wants to win a vote of confidence, then it can become a reasonable ground for calling the assembly session on a short notice,” a press note said Monday, quoting the Governor.

This is the third time Ashok Gehlot government has sent a proposal to the Governor for an assembly session, amid the crisis the Congress faces in the state after a rebellion by Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs.

The minister alleged that after Rajasthan, the BJP wants to target West Bengal, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

The Congress has alleged that the Mishra is acting "under pressure" from the BJP government at the Centre.

AICC general secretary Avinash Pande in a series of tweets questioned the Governor for not calling the assembly session.

"Kalraj Mishra is identified as a skilled administrator and a seasoned leader who respects political integrity, and holds a dignified post of the Governor of Rajasthan. His image has always been that of an idealistic leader," he said.

ALSO READ | Rajasthan Congress sends memorandum to President, seeks intervention to convene assembly session

"But in the context of the crisis in Rajasthan, the Governor of Rajasthan is adopting a biased approach to fulfil the interests of a particular party, which is violation of the rules mentioned in our Constitution," he added.

Meanwhile,  Rajasthan BJP MLA Madan Dilawar on Tuesday filed two writ petitions challenging the assembly Speaker's decision to reject his complaint against the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress.

The first petition was filed this morning against a communication received from the assembly secretariat Monday that the complaint has been decided and rejected by the Speaker, the counsel for Dilawar said.

"Today, we got a detailed order of the Speaker (about the rejection of the complaint). Thereafter, we filed a second petition challenging the detailed order," the counsel said.

Dilawar had filed his complaint to the Speaker in March, and on July 24, he moved the high court alleging inaction by the Speaker on the issue he raised.

The High Court on Monday dismissed his petition as "having become infructuous" as the Speaker passed the order later on July 24.

In the fresh petitions filed on Tuesday against the Speaker's order, the MLA has challenged the validity, legality and correctness of the Speaker's July 24 order on his complaint filed in March.

In his complaint to the Speaker, he had prayed that the BSP MLAs be disqualified from the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha under para 2 of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

Dilawar has alleged he was not heard by the Speaker before he decided his complaint on July 24.

On Monday, he had staged a dharna in the chamber of the assembly secretary to get a copy of the order and was given a communication saying that his complaint had been rejected.

A detailed order was given to him Tuesday.

Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha successfully contested the 2018 assembly elections on BSP tickets, but they all defected to the Congress in September 2019.

They submitted an application for merger on September 16, 2019 and the Speaker issued an order two days later.

The Merger of BSP MLAs with the ruling Congress was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the tally of Congress increased to 107 in the house of 200.

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