Rajasthan Political Crisis Latest News: It was a day of double relief for rebel leader Sachin Pilot in the fortnight-long political crisis in the state as the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday said no action can be taken against him till July 24. The high court also said that it will hear the matter on Friday to announce its final verdict. Also Read - Rajasthan Door To Door Survey: 7 Lakh Show Fever, Cold And Cough Symptoms | Details Here
Soon after the High Court’s hearing, the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker also agreed to not take any action against Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress MLAs. Also Read - Rajasthan Government Announces Complete Lockdown From May 10 to May 24 Amid COVID Cases Surge
During the hearing, the high court bench said it will pronounce its order on Friday, and also urged the Assembly Speaker to extend his deadline for accepting the MLAs replies to the notices. Also Read - 'No Mask No Movement': Rajasthan Launches New Campaign to Break Chain of Coronavirus in State
The notices had followed a Congress complaint that the 19 MLAs should be disqualified from the assembly for defying a party whip.
Third CLP meet
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot addressed party MLAs at a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting and accused Pilot of betraying the party. He said those betraying the party will not be able to face the public.
“This is intolerable and condemnable. Those betraying the party will not be able to show their faces in public,” Gehlot said.
Senior party leaders, including AICC general secretary in-charge for the Rajasthan Congress Avinash Pande; K C Venugopal; Ajay Maken; Randeep Surjewala; Vivek Bansal and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot attended the meeting.
Notably, this was the third meeting of the CLP in the past one week.
Defying party whip
Last week, Pilot and 18 other MLAs rebelled against the chief minister, defying a whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings. Later, he was sacked as deputy chief minister and state Congress chief. The dissident MLAs had challenged the disqualification notices, moving court last Friday.
During the hearing today, both the sides concluded their arguments and all parties were asked to file written submissions by next Friday.
Assembly Speaker CP Joshi has twice before deferred his deadline for action on the notices as the court proceedings continued beyond the expected time.
The ruling party in Rajasthan had complained to the Speaker that the MLAs had defied a whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings, on Monday and Tuesday last week.
However, the Pilot camp argued that a party whip applies only when the assembly is in session. They also argued that they had no plans to quit the party and only wanted a change in its Rajasthan leadership.
The whole episode of crisis erupted after the Rajasthan police’s SOG launched a probe into alleged attempts at horse trading to topple the Gehlot government and issued a notice to Pilot to appear during the investigation. SOG had also given a notice to Gehlot.
Pilot has been upset since the Congress picked Gehlot over him for the chief minister’s post, following the December 2018 assembly elections.
(With inputs from PTI)