JAIPUR/NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing drama over calling the Rajasthan Assembly session to deal with the Congress revolt, Governor Kalraj Mishra continued to play for time, asking the Ashok Gehlot government to provide a 21-day notice period for convening the House.
Analysts saw in it an attempt to create more wriggle room for the BJP and Sachin Pilot, who is leading the 19 rebel lawmakers. Gehlot suggested July 31 as the date for the session to commence.
Mishra wondered if a trust vote would be part of the House agenda, since Gehlot’s communication to him was silent on it though the chief minister was freely talking about it in the public domain. Mishra also wanted to know the plan to maintain social distancing during the Assembly session given the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the Governor refusing to follow the Congress timeline, the party reacted sharply. While AICC in charge Avinash Pandey called it anti-democratic, new state party unit chief G S Dotasra sought to pin down the Governor, saying four of five sessions of the Assembly so far have happened with less than 10-day notice.
Gehlot reportedly claimed he took up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I spoke with the PM yesterday and told him about the behaviour of the Governor,” he is reported to have told a party meeting.
While the Congress protested outside all Raj Bhawans across the country, they stayed away from the one in Jaipur. But after a ‘Save Democracy’ meeting of MLAs, Gehlot and his legislators sent a stinging memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind.
Earlier in the day, the Pilot camp suffered a jolt when the Rajasthan High Court rejected a petition of a BJP MLA questioning the merger of the six BSP MLAs with the Congress last year.
Besides, Assembly Speaker C P Joshi withdrew his plea in the Supreme Court against the HC order asking him to defer decision on disqualification of the rebels.
Meanwhile, former Union law ministers Ashwani Kumar, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid wrote to Mishra saying his action created a Constitutional crisis.