Rajasthan: Governor okay with Assembly session but has questions
In a new development related to the impasse in Rajasthan, Governor Kalraj Mishra on Monday said he wasn't averse to calling an Assembly session but wanted Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to clarify three things. He asked the Congress leader whether he would seek a trust vote if the session begins. The Governor also wanted to know if MLAs will be given three weeks' time.
What is the political crisis of Rajasthan all about?
Gehlot, who took office in December 2018, has been scrambling to save his chair ever since his former Deputy Sachin Pilot revolted. Pilot was miffed after being summoned for an investigation; he took his loyalists and camped in Haryana, claiming that Gehlot has lost majority. Subsequently, his team was served disqualification notices, but they got a reprieve from Rajasthan High Court and Supreme Court.
Gehlot, suffered setbacks in courts, charged towards Raj Bhavan
After hitting roadblocks in the legal battle, Gehlot pressurized Governor Mishra for an Assembly session. He wants a session to show he has the numbers in the 200-member strong Assembly. Last week, Gehlot's loyalists staged a dharna at Raj Bhavan, but Governor Mishra maintained he would not be forced into taking a decision. Today, he announced he isn't opposed to an Assembly session.
To note, Governor Mishra, who had rejected Gehlot's plea for a session twice, asked today if MLAs would be given three weeks' time for attending the session, considering the pandemic. "Can you consider giving 21 days' notice to the MLAs?" he asked in a note sent to state government. He also wondered whether social distancing norms would be followed if the session is convened.
Governor asked Gehlot to clarify about trust vote as well
Moreover, Governor Mishra also wants more clarity on Gehlot's intentions. "Do you want to bring a confidence motion? As it is not mentioned in the proposal but in public, you (Mr. Gehlot) are making statements that you want to bring a confidence motion," he said.
Meanwhile, after frequent snubs, Gehlot complained to PM about Governor
Now, after being snubbed by Governor Mishra repeatedly, Gehlot took an unusual route. He complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "I spoke with Prime Minister yesterday and told him about the behavior of the Governor. I spoke with him regarding the letter I had written to him seven days back," he revealed. Gehlot reminded that the Governor is constitutionally-bound to call an Assembly session.
Separately, driven by crisis, Congress protested against BJP
On a related note, Congress is cornering BJP using the developments of Rajasthan. Today, Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu and Rajya Sabha MP PL Punia were reportedly arrested after they protested outside Lucknow Raj Bhavan against BJP's attempts to topple Gehlot's government. Similarly, in Kolkata, Congress protested outside Raj Bhavan against BJP for "placing its Governors" in states run by opposition parties.