Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma today said Congress MLAs are ready to be tested for coronavirus infection if the pandemic is coming in the way of holding an assembly session in the state, which is facing a big political crisis.
"If the Governor says they cannot hold (assembly) session due to coronavirus, then we are ready to do coronavirus tests of MLAs," Mr Sharma told reporters as the Congress government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot struggles with a rebellion by 19 MLAs including Sachin Pilot. "How did the Rajya Sabha election happen then amid the coronavirus pandemic? There were long lines of leaders (for voting)," Mr Sharma said.
Mr Gehlot today said he has asked for an assembly session from Monday, but Governor Kalraj Mishra was delaying the decision because he was "under pressure from the top" to stall a test of strength.
"We requested him to call a session last evening and we waited all night, but there was no response. It is beyond comprehension what kind of forces would compel him to delay such a simple process," the Chief Minister said, alleging a BJP conspiracy.
"We have a clear majority and we want the assembly to start from Monday," Mr Gehlot said, before heading to the Governor's house.
The Governor, responding to the charge, told NDTV that he had not said "no" to Mr Gehlot's request. "I have not decided yet. Whatever I do will be according to the rules," Mr Mishra said.
The BJP has 76 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly and to form government, the party will need the support of at least 25 more MLAs. But the BJP is looking at an additional 10 MLAs as a buffer.