Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot went to the Governor’s House to meet him on Wednesday.
Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra today rejected Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s request for an assembly session for the third time. The Governor has reportedly returned the proposal to call a session on Friday with the comment that a 21-day notice is necessary and expressing concern about the coronavirus situation.
Soon after the snub, the Chief Minister went to the Governor’s House to meet him for the fourth time since the Congress rebel crisis broke out earlier this month, pushing the party’s government in Rajasthan to the brink.
“I am going to meet him to find out what he wants. Whether he seeks a notice of 21 days or 31 days to call assembly session, we will be victorious,” Ashok Gehlot told reporters before going to Raj Bhavan.
Mr Gehlot had sent a third proposal yesterday asking for an assembly session on Friday after his previous request was returned by the Governor with three conditions, which included a 21-day notice and a coronavirus plan for the house.
The Chief Minister, fighting rebellion by his sacked Deputy Sachin Pilot and at least 18 more MLAs, has been pressing for an assembly session since last week and protested for five hours at the Governor’s residence last Friday. He believes he is well-placed to win a trust vote held right about this time and had submitted to the Governor a list of 102 MLAs, just one past the majority mark of 101 in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly.
In his last rejection, the Governor wrote to the Chief Minister that he was not against calling an assembly session. “The Raj Bhavan (Governor) gives the go ahead to call the Assembly session keeping in mind the suggestions made,” he wrote, listing questions that needed to be dealt with.
He asked whether the Chief Minister wanted to bring a trust vote; if that is the case, a 21-day notice is not needed for a special session. “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,” Mr Mishra had questioned.
The Governor also said it would be difficult to call all MLAs at short notice during the pandemic. “Can you consider giving 21 days’ notice to the MLAs?” – his note asked. The government has said that assembly sessions have been held in Goa, Manipur and Puducherry in the middle of the virus fight.
His third question was on how social distancing would be maintained during the session. Team Gehlot responded that it was up to the Speaker to decide on safety measures and seating arrangements.
Last Friday, the Governor had given six reasons to nix Mr Gehlot’s proposal. He had the file did not mention any agenda or date. He had also pointed out that a case was being heard in the Supreme Court. To tackle the last point, Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi dropped a petition in the Supreme Court involving his powers to disqualify 19 rebel MLAs.