Brief Rajasthan Assembly likely this week, claim Congress sources; two BTP MLAs extend support

When the power tussle between Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and recently-sacked deputy Sachin Pilot had re-surfaced, the BTP earlier said it would remain neutral

FP Staff July 20, 2020 08:28:43 IST
Brief Rajasthan Assembly likely this week, claim Congress sources; two BTP MLAs extend support

Day after Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot met Governor Kalraj Mishra, Congress sources on Sunday said a brief session of the state assembly may be on the cards sometime this week.

"The government has all options open, including a brief assembly session," they said amid a political crisis following party leader Sachin Pilot's rebellion against Gehlot.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ajay Maken in a press conference said, "The decision on when and how the floor test will happen, it has to be taken by the chief minister and the government. It is the chief minister's discretion to move forward when required and if it is required."

Gehlot's meeting with the Rajasthan governor on Saturday lasted for 45 minutes.

A Raj Bhawan spokesperson, however, said the chief minister briefed the governor about the efforts being made to protect the state from the coronavirus pandemic.

On the other hand, party sources said the chances of calling a brief Assembly session are there but nothing has been finalised yet.

The party claims the Ashok Gehlot government has the numbers to prove majority in case there is a floor test.

In the 200-member state assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs, including former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs loyal to him, who have rebelled against Gehlot.

Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi had earlier sent disqualification notices to the rebel MLAs after which they moved the state High Court. The next hearing in the matter will be held on Monday.

The RLD, which has one MLA, is a Congress ally while, the ruling party has the support of 10 of 13 Independent MLAs.

The Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) which has two MLAs, has officially announced its support to the Ashok Gehlot government on Saturday.

The tribal leaders claimed that it was now in a position to punch way above its weight despite its miniscule presence in the Assembly.

"We have two MLAs in a House of 200, yet we are in the position of kingmakers," party president Maheshbhai C Vasava said on Sunday.

At a joint press conference with the Congress on Saturday, BTP legislators Rajkumar Roat and Ramprasad Dindor made it clear that they are with the Congress government.

When the power tussle between Gehlot and his now sacked deputy Sachin Pilot had re-surfaced, the BTP earlier said it will remain neutral.

Vasava said the party is now extending support to Gehlot after an assurance that its demands related to the development of tribal areas will be met.

"We have fought against the Congress and the BJP on tribal issues but if the government now assures full support on the issues raised by us, why shouldn"t we support it? After all it is fulfilling the agenda of tribal welfare and development," he said.

With inputs from agencies

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