New Delhi: The political drama in Rajasthan continued for yet another day on Monday. The day witnessed Governor Kalraj Mishra, who has been engaged in a mini-feud with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot amid the latter’s tussle with the now-former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, agree to the Chief Minister’s demand for an Assembly session, albeit with three conditions. Also Read - Astonished, Anguished by Attitude of Governor: P Chidambaram on Rajasthan Political Crisis
Also, on the day, Assembly Speaker CP Joshi withdrew from the Supreme Court his Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the High Court’s order restraining him from acting against the 19 rebel Congress MLAs, including Sachin Pilot. Also Read - Rajasthan Governor Gives Nod For Assembly Session, Wants Government to Deliberate on 3 Aspects | Details Here
Here’s how things panned out on Monday: Also Read - 'With Congress No Matter What', Say BSP MLAs on Whip by Mayawati-Led Party; Rajasthan High Court Dismisses BJP's Plea
(1.) Governor Kalraj Mishra finally accepted CM Gehlot’s request-cum-demand to convene an Assembly session. In a statement, his official residence, the Raj Bhawan, said that ‘not convening an Assembly session was never an intention’.
(2.) However, he put forth the following three conditions for the state government to consider: giving 21 days’ notice to MLAs so that they can come amid COVID-19 pandemic, making certain arrangements for the floor test and ensuring social distancing in the Assembly during the session.
(3.) The Governor rejected CM Gehlot’s second proposal for an Assembly session, from July 31. Gehlot reacted to it by remarking that Governor Mishra has ‘sent us a six-page love letter’, adding that the Governors are bound to approve an elected government’s request for an Assembly session.
(4.) The Chief Minister further said that he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Governor’s ‘conduct’. He also urged President Ram Nath Kovind to ensure that a session begins immediately as this was, he said, the ‘constitutional right’ of a Chief Minister.
(5.) Assembly Speaker CP Joshi withdrew his SLP from the apex court against the Rajasthan High Court’s order restraining him from taking disqualification action Pilot and 18 rebel MLAs. He had filed his plea last week after being restrained twice-first till July 21 and then July 24.
(6.) On July 23, the Supreme Court rejected the Speaker’s plea to stop the High Court from dictating its order. It, however, said that the final order in the case would be on the basis of the Speaker’s plea which, ultimately, was withdrawn. On July 24, the High Court ordered ‘status quo’ in the case.
(7.) Congress, which has accused the opposition BJP of trying to topple its government, held pan-India ‘Save Democracy-Save Constitution’ protests against the saffron party. Rajasthan Congress MLAs held a ‘prayer meet’ in the hotel in Jaipur where they have been put up by CM Gehlot.
(8.) The six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs, who had joined the Congress in September, accused the BJP of being behind the whip issued to them last night by the Mayawati-led party to vote against Ashok Gehlot in the event of a trust vote. “We’re with the Congress no matter what”, they said.
(9.) The Rajasthan High Court, meanwhile, dismissed the BJP’s plea challenging the merger of the six BSP MLAs with the Congress. Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha are the six BSP MLAs who had left for the Congress.
(10.) Meanwhile, a rebel Congress MLA of the Pilot camp claimed that 10-15 pro Gehlot MLAs were in contact with them. Hemaram Choudhary, one of the 18 rebel MLAs supporting Pilot, said that if CM Gehlot removes ‘restrictions’, it will become clear how many MLAs remain on his side.