Rajasthan: BJP will bring no-confidence motion, but Gehlot is 'safe'
On Thursday, opposition BJP declared that it will bring a no-confidence motion tomorrow in Rajasthan Assembly, but Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has little to worry as Congress has mended ties with the rebels. Moreover, the Supreme Court didn't allow a plea challenging the merger of six BSP MLAs to Congress, paving the path for their votes for Gehlot. Here are more details.
Governor Kalraj Mishra allowed the Assembly session from August 14, after Gehlot didn't budge from his demand. The Congress leader had been asking for a session to prove he has the numbers in the 200-member strong Assembly after his former Deputy Sachin Pilot revolted. The 42-year-old's dual wins — one in SC and another in Rajasthan HC — forced Gehlot to show his strength.
Much to Gehlot's fortunes, Congress' high-command and Pilot arrived at a consensus this week, which means he can easily sail through the trust vote. Besides, the support of half a dozen BSP MLAs also bolsters his chances. When the plea challenging the said merger came up, the Supreme Court said it would not interfere as HC is hearing the matter.
Earlier, Mayawati fumed when her MLAs jumped ships and joined Congress, just like BSP's earlier legislators did during Gehlot's previous tenure. The party issued a whip to the legislators asking them to vote against the CM while also denouncing the merger, saying that a national party can't become one with another party at a state level. Amusingly, Gehlot had also dismissed Mayawati's anger.
Earlier in the day, Gulab Chand Kataria, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, declared that the saffron party will bring a no-confidence motion tomorrow. BJP, which took a lot of interest in Gehlot and Pilot's infighting, was hoping to stage a coup like Madhya Pradesh. But a repeat became impossible as ex-CM Vasundhara Raje, upset with BJP top brass, maintained a low profile.
On a related note, days after a truce, Gehlot and Pilot came face-to-face at a Congress meet today. A Congress Legislature Party meeting took place to plan the strategy for the upcoming session. Reports said Gehlot wasn't too happy with Congress after it decided to reconcile with Pilot, but was ordered to fall in line. His loyalists also wanted action against the rebels.
In a tweet this morning, Gehlot indicated that he was ready to look beyond last month's bitter feud. "In the past one month, whatever internal discord happened within the Congress party, we have to, for the state, for the country and for the people for Rajasthan, move on with the spirit of forget-and-forgive," Gehlot, who didn't his mince words against Pilot, wrote.