- On Monday, Governor Kalraj Mishra wrote to the Chief Minister
- He said he was not against calling an assembly session
- Governor also said it would be difficult to call all MLAs at short notice
The Rajasthan Congress government today sent, for the third time, its recommendation for an assembly session from July 31 to the Governor, who has blocked two previous requests. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met his cabinet earlier this morning to discuss Governor Kalraj Mishra's three conditions, which included a 21-day notice and a coronavirus plan for the house.
The revised proposal does not mention whether the state government wants a trust vote in the assembly session. It also asserts that the Ashok Gehlot government has a majority.
"We have a majority. We will prove it if we think it necessary," Rajasthan minister Harish Chaudhary told NDTV after the meeting.
On Monday, the Governor wrote to the Chief Minister that he was not against calling an assembly session. "The Raj Bhavan (Governor) gives the go ahead to call the Assembly session keeping in mind the suggestions made," he wrote, listing questions that needed to be dealt with.
He asked whether the Chief Minister wanted to bring a trust vote; if that is the case, a 21-day notice is not needed. "Do you want to bring a confidence motion? As it is not mentioned in the proposal but in public you (Mr Gehlot) are making statements that you want to bring a Confidence Motion," Mr Mishra had questioned.
The Governor also said it would be difficult to call all MLAs at short notice during the pandemic. "Can you consider giving 21 days' notice to the MLAs?" - his note asked. The government has said that assembly sessions have been held in Goa, Manipur and Puducherry in the middle of the virus fight.
His third question was on how social distancing would be maintained during the session. To that, Team Gehlot has said in its latest request that it is up to the Speaker to decide on safety measures and seating arrangements.
When he rejected Mr Gehlot's first proposal on Friday, the Governor had given six reasons. He had said the proposal did not mention any agenda or date. He had also pointed out that a case was being heard in the Supreme Court. To tackle the last point, Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi dropped a petition in the Supreme Court involving his powers to disqualify Sachin Pilot and 19 other rebel MLAs.
The Chief Minister has been pressing for an assembly session since last week and protested for five hours at the Governor's residence last Friday.
Facing a rebellion by his sacked deputy Sachin Pilot, Mr Gehlot believes he has the numbers to win a floor test in the assembly. The Chief Minister submitted to the Governor a list of 102 MLAs, just one past the majority mark of 101 in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly.
What could endanger the Gehlot government's thin lead is the status of six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs who merged their party with the Congress last year. The BSP and BJP have challenged the merger in court. BSP chief Mayawati said she could have gone to court earlier but was waiting for the right time to "teach the Congress and Gehlot a lesson".