Gehlot holds protest at Raj Bhavan; what about law & order, asks governor

Gehlot holds protest at Raj Bhavan; what about law & order, asks governor

JAIPUR: Rajasthan witnessed high political drama on Friday when CM

Ashok Gehlot

reached governor

Kalraj Mishra

’s official residence with more than 100 legislators, including independents. He met Mishra and insisted on convening the assembly session, which seems intended to prove his strength and force the hand of the rebels who are seeking protection from disqualification.

The CM and MLAs stayed put for more than five hours from around 2.30pm to 7.35pm, and raised slogans for an assembly session as recommended by the state cabinet. Gehlot termed the protest a“Gandhian satyagraha”. Earlier, Gehlot said, “If the state’s people now gherao Raj Bhavan (for not convening the session), we will not be responsible.”

The governor responded by expressing anguish over Gehlot’s remarks. “My only request to you is that if you and your home department cannot protect even the gover nor then what is your opinion about the law and order situation in the state? With that, also tell me which agency should be contacted for the governor’s security? In my long political career, I never heard such a statement from any CM,” he wrote to Gehlot.

The decision to convene the assembly is seen to be the prerogative of the government and usually the governor has few objections, if any. But the political subtext to the events has made it a political potboiler. If the assembly meets, it will likely force Pilot and the rebel MLAs to surface as violation of the party whip in the House will imperil their membership.

If they do attend the House, it might impact their case in the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Speaker’s challenge to the

Rajasthan high court

’s directions with regard to disqualification notices. Gehlot and the MLAs, as well as senior Congress members, left for the hotel where they are camping only after the governor assured them that the assembly could be convened once the cabinet replied to queries raised by Raj Bhavan. Congress member Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “CM Gehlot has called a cabinet meeting at 9.30 pm to reply to the governor’s short note of queries by tonight or tomorrow, so that the session can be called at the earliest.”

The move to call the assembly is the next act in the political drama that saw the SC order that any high court decision on disqualification will be stayed un

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