Six MLAs who shifted from Mayawati's party to the Congress in Rajasthan have been asked by the former party to vote against the Ashok Gehlot government during the trust vote, which, sources said, is likely to be held today. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday issued a whip to the party leaders, warning them that they will face action if they defy the order.
Earlier on Thursday, the six MLAs were allowed to participate in the vote in the after the Supreme Court, which was hearing a BJP MLA's petition for a temporary freeze on the merger, refused to allow it. The court left the decision to a single judge in Rajasthan, which is hearing the matter.
The Rajasthan High Court is expected to hear the petitions filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar and the BSP challenging the merger of the six MLAs today.
BSP chief Mayawati had last month said that she was looking to teach Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot a "a lesson" for "theft of MLAs".
That plan was served a blow when Sachin Pilot ended his rebellion on Monday after talks with Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in which it was decided that a three-member committee will look into his grievances.
However, in a big twist, the BJP on Thursday announced that it would move a no-confidence motion against the Ashok Gehlot government in the special assembly session starting today. Soon after, the ruling Congress said it would go for a trust vote to prove its majority in the house.
If the Chief Minister moves a Confidence Motion, it will supersede the no-confidence motion moved by any other member, according to the rules. Sources said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had been on the edge for a month because of the rebellion of his deputy Sachin Pilot, will take the first opportunity to hold a trust vote. If the government can prove its majority in a trust vote, it cannot be challenged for the next six months, rules say.