Rajasthan governor resorting to 'worst kind of obstruction of democracy', says Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Governor Kalraj Mishra had sought clarifications on six points from the Rajasthan government, after Congress MLAs sought the convening of the Assembly
New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday accused the Rajasthan Governor of resorting to the "worst kind of obstruction of democracy" by raising "superficial and motivated" queries on Ashok Gehlot government''s demand for convening a session of the state assembly.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said his party wants a floor test in the state assembly and is "begging" for it, but the governor is not convening the House and "delaying" the trust vote allegedly at the behest of the central government.
He also cited Supreme Court judgments and several precedents including those of Rajasthan Assembly with regard to the convening of the Assembly session to assert that the Governor cannot act of his own and can only do so with the advice of the Cabinet.
"Such superficial, clearly motivated, digressive and extraneous queries establish beyond doubt that they are coming from the highest authorities of the central government and being parroted without change as His Master's Voice from Raj Bhawan, Jaipur.
"We all know who that Master is. But, it decimates the lustre and dignity of the Governor's constitutional position," Singhvi said at a virtual press conference.
Governor Kalraj Mishra had on Friday sought clarifications on six points from the state government, after Congress MLAs held a five-hour dharna on the lawns of the Raj Bhawan in Jaipur pressing for convening of the assembly.
The governor asked Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to submit again, with the clarifications, his recommendation for calling a session.
A statement from the governor included queries on the free movement of MLAs and the reason why the session needed to be called urgently.
The governor on Saturday night received a revised proposal from the state cabinet requesting that a session of the assembly be called on 31 July, Raj Bhawan sources said on Sunday.
Asked if the party would challenge the Rajasthan High Court judgment, Singhvi said the fight was not in the courtroom but in the state assembly where a floor test would determine who has the numbers.
At the same time, the Congress spokesperson questioned the high court ruling, pointing out that the apex court has clearly stated in the past that judicial review is not permissible at any stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speaker
"If somebody is begging (for the Assembly to be convened) ... and still 4-5 days have passed and now it is going to be seven days if 31st is the date be here. Then, I think this is the worst kind of obstruction of democracy, which is happening under your nose," Singhvi noted.
Taking on the prime minister, Singh asked, "Why are those, ensconsed in the highest executive post of the country, who invented jibes like ''Mauni Baba'' for others, not introspecting on their eloquent silence in not reminding constitutional authorities like the Governor of their Rajdharma? Or is their eloquence reserved only for jumlas."
Citing a 1992 SC judgement, Singhvi quoted a five-judge judge as saying: "Having regard to the constitutional scheme in the Tenth Schedule, judicial review should not cover any stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speakers/ Chairman; and no quia timet (ie interim interventions) are permissible".
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The decision to shift the MLAs come a day after Gehlot indicated that he will seek a confidence vote when the Assembly convenes next fortnight
Mishra also directed that all measures should be taken during the conduct of the Assembly Session to prevent the spread of COVID-19
The Governor has reportedly also written to Ashok Gehlot asking who is responsible for his security after Gehlot said that people will gherao the Raj Bhawan if an Assembly session is not convened soon