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Published On: Fri, Jul 24th, 2020

Governor Kalraj Mishra of being under pressure to not call assembly session: Gehlot

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Gehlot (1)JAIPUR : Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said today he had requested an assembly session from Monday and accused Governor Kalraj Mishra of delaying the decision because he was “under pressure from the top” to stall a test of strength.
Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra is not calling the state assembly session due to “pressures from the top”, said chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday.
“After the decision of the Cabinet, we wrote a letter to Governor stating that we want assembly session to be convened in order to discuss issues including corona and the political situation… We believe that because of pressures from the top, governor is not giving directions to call the session. We are unhappy with this,” Gehlot said at a press conference here.

Gehlot addressed the press hours after the Rajasthan High Court ordered “status quo” on the disqualification notice issued by the Assembly Speaker to a group of 19 rebel Congress MLAs, including former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

The order was delivered on a petition filed by the dissidents challenging their disqualification from the Assembly. A bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta also allowed the rebel MLAs to make the central government party to the case. The HC deferred its judgment till the Supreme Court decided on the matter.
“We requested The Governor Kalraj Mishra to call a session in a letter yesterday and we waited all night, but there was no response. It is beyond comprehension what kind of forces would compel him to delay such a simple process,” the Chief Minister said, alleging a BJP conspiracy.
The Governor, responding to the charge, told that he had not said “no” to Mr Gehlot’s request. “I have not decided yet. Whatever I do will be according to the rules,” Kalraj Mishra said amid reports that coronavirus restrictions may be one reason for him to hold off on a session.
“We have a clear majority and we want the assembly to start from Monday. Doodh ka doodh aur pani ka pani ho jayega (everything will be crystal clear),” Mr Gehlot said, before heading to the Governor’s house with Congress MLAs.

The apex court Thursday said the outcome of the HC’s judgment would be subject to its final order on the matter, which is scheduled to be taken up on Monday, July 27. The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Speaker C P Joshi, who challenged the High Court order asking him to provide relief to the rebels.
Joshi had petitioned the top court saying the HC did not have the jurisdiction to restrain him from conducting disqualification proceedings, adding that courts could only intervene when the Speaker took a decision to suspend or disqualify a member of the House.
Joshi had served Pilot and 18 other MLAs disqualification notices last week after they skipped two Congress Legislature Party meetings called by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot despite they Congress issuing a whip. The rebels had argued that the party whip doesn’t apply outside the Assembly.

Saying it was up to him to decide “whether this amounts to voluntary giving up membership (of a party)”, Joshi told the SC: “I as Speaker have to examine the conduct of members. That they did not attend two meetings is just one aspect of it. Neither can HC nor SC decode that.”
In other news, speaking to English Daily  Gehlot said the political crisis was not due to the performance of his government but the “over-ambition of Pilot and a small group of MLAs… who are playing in the hands of the BJP”. He reiterated that the Congress government in Rajasthan had a comfortable majority and continued to enjoy the support of the people. “The government is fully stable and will complete its full term,” he said .
Mr Gehlot said he had even requested the Governor on the phone to call an assembly session without delay. “I told him you must follow your conscience and preserve the decorum of your constitutional post We are going with all our MLAs to make a collective request. The people of Rajasthan are with us. If the masses surround the Raj Bhawan in protest, we will not be responsible,” said the Chief Minister.
The Congress has a narrow lead over the opposition and has only two more than the majority mark of 101 in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. Team Pilot claims 30 MLAs but so far, only 19 MLAs have been confirmed as rebels. The BJP has 72. Including smaller parties and independent members, the opposition has 97 at the moment.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).

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