JAIPUR: Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday accepted Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s fourth proposal seeking to summon Assembly session from August 14, ending the week-long tussle between the two.
Earlier, the governor had rejected three proposals by the Gehlot government seeking Assembly session from July 31. The governor had cited various issues while rejecting the proposals, such as the coronavirus threat, difficulty for MLAs to attend the session at short notice, and the need for a 21-day notice for calling House session. Mishra had also demanded to know if the reason for holding urgent House session was to hold a vote of confidence. However, none of Gehlot’s proposals mentioned trust vote as part of House agenda.
Wednesday saw back-to-back exchanges between Mishra and Gehlot. Soon after the governor rejected the third proposal which reiterated the demand for summoning the Assembly on July 31, Gehlot rushed to the Raj Bhavan and held a 15-minute meeting with Mishra.
This was the fourth time that the CM and Governor have met since the Sachin Pilot-led revolt broke out in mid-July and pushed the Congress government in Rajasthan to the brink.
Separately, Assembly Speaker C P Joshi, too, met Mishra. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the July 24 order of the high court directing status quo on the disqualification notice issued to 19 dissident MLAs.
New date meets the 21-day notice criterion
Earlier in the day, while rejecting the third proposal, Governor Mishra stressed he has “no objections to hold a session in accordance with rules” and flagged three issues — the threat of Covid-19 spread, the need to ensure free access to all MLAs at a time when many are staying in resorts within and outside the state, and the normal rule for giving a 21-day notice before a session.
Reacting to the governor’s rejection for the third time, Gehlot had said, “Whether he seeks a notice of 21 days or 31 days...we will be victorious.” In an address at the state Congress office, he said sarcastically,
“You have sent a love letter a third time. What do you want? Tell us, so that we work in that manner.” Later in the evening, the Gehlot Cabinet met again and sent a fourth proposal to the governor, with August 14 as the new date for convening the session.
The new date meets the 21-day notice considering the first proposal was sent on July 23. After the meeting, Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said, “We don’t want to have any confrontation. We have sent back our response.”
Meanwhile, Sachin Pilot and his group of MLAs remained incommunicado. Curiously, Bhanwarlal Sharma, an MLA supporting Pilot, has moved a petition in the High Court demanding the police probe into the horse-trading charges be handed over to NIA.