Will Decide On Supporting Ashok Gehlot After Clarity On Floor Test: Left

There is speculation that Ashok Gehlot may seek a floor test in the state assembly early next week to prove that the majority of the MLAs are with him.

Will Decide On Supporting Ashok Gehlot After Clarity On Floor Test: Left

Balwan Poonia, one of the two CPI(M) MLAs in the state assembly, pledged support to Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur:

The CPI(M) on Monday said it will take a decision on supporting Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led government once it becomes clear when the floor test will be held in the Rajasthan assembly.

This comes days after Balwan Poonia, one of the two CPI(M) MLAs in the state assembly, pledged his support to Mr Gehlot, who is embroiled in a power struggle with his former deputy Sachin Pilot.

The Bhadra MLA had told reporters at his residence on Friday that he will vote in favour of the Congress government in case there is a floor test in the assembly.

"What is the necessity for the party to take a decision now about our support? Nothing is known about a floor test as of now. We will take an appropriate decision when the floor test is held," CPI(M) state secretary Amra Ram told reporters.

"If any MLA goes against our decision, then action will be taken," he said.

Mr Ram said the "political lockdown" in Rajasthan is "unfortunate" and accused the BJP and Pilot of indulging in horse-trading to topple the Congress government.

"The CPI(M) strongly condemns the manner in which the BJP and the former Congress state president are colluding in horse-trading of legislators," he said.

Asked about Mr Poonia announcing his support for Ashok Gehlot, Mr Ram said it is a "sheer lie".

"Our MLAs are with us," he asserted.

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On Mr Poonia's presence at the Congress Legislature Party meeting, he said disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who does not toe the party line.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) MLA from Dungargarh Girdhari Mahia said he will follow his party's decision.

He said neither has anyone offered him money to take sides nor can anyone dare to do so.

There is speculation that Mr Gehlot may seek a floor test in the state assembly early next week to prove that the majority of the MLAs are with him.

The speculation was triggered by his 45-minute meeting on Saturday with Governor Kalraj Mishra, officially on the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Including Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs loyal to him, the Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-member assembly.

If the 19 Congress dissidents are disqualified, the current strength of the state assembly will be reduced to 181, slashing the half-way mark to 91 and making it easier for Ashok Gehlot to retain majority support.

In the past, the ruling party has claimed the support of 13 independents, two MLAs each from the CPI(M) and the Bhartiya Tribal Party, and one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).