Gehlot meets governor with MLAs’ list, floor test likely next week

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Gehlot meets governor with MLAs’ list, floor test likely next week


JAIPUR:

Rajasthan

CM

Ashok Gehlot

met governor Kalraj Mishra on Saturday evening to submit a list of MLAs supporting him, raising the possibility of a brief assembly session next week for the government to seek a trust vote against the backdrop of the revolt by sacked deputy CM

Sachin Pilot

and 18 other legislators.

The meeting at Raj Bhavan lasted 45 minutes, during which Gehlot is understood to have proposed convening an assembly session by Wednesday.

Congress

insiders wouldn’t give numbers, but said the CM was confident of winning the trial of strength. “The assembly session will pave the way for stern action against Pilot and his band of rebel MLAs,” a senior party office-bearer said.

Parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal confirmed to TOI that Gehlot submitted a list of MLAs to the governor and that the figure was well above the majority mark of 101 in the 200-member assembly. Congress has 107 MLAs, 19 of whom constitute the rival Pilot camp.

On whether Gehlot himself requested an assembly session to prove his government’s majority, Dhariwal said, “The CM meeting the governor does not mean it is for an assembly session.”

The minister, however, didn’t contest the buzz that a floor test is just a few days away. “If the government clears the trust vote now, the law does not permit another one for six months,” he said.

Sources said the Gehlot government was more than eager to get a floor test out of the way because proving its majority would help it counter the Pilot camp’s plea in the Rajasthan high court that a party whip is not binding on MLAs when the House isn’t in session. Speaker CP Joshi had issued defection notices to Pilot and 18 of his supporters on the basis of a complaint that they had defied a party whip and skipped consecutive CLP meetings.

If an assembly session is called in the next few days, Pilot and the MLAs supporting him would have to return to Jaipur or face disqualification under the anti-defection law for defying a fresh party whip, sources said.

New PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra said the party was sure to get support from at least a couple of the MLAs being “held” in a resort in Haryana’s

Manesar

.

Ailing social justice minister Bhanwar Lal Meghwal has been in hospital since May 13 and is, therefore, unlikely to participate in a floor test should the governor ask for one. Congress will then

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