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Friday, September 25, 2020

Rajasthan: Guv seeks fresh proposal from govt for Assembly session; Congress holds nationwide protests

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party (CLP) said that they have sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention on the ongoing impasse between Governor Mishra and CM Ashok Gehlot.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 27, 2020 9:38:29 pm
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot during a prayer meeting organised under the ‘Save Democracy-Save Constitution’ protest in Jaipur. (PTI)

With the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan treading on thin ice, Governor Kalraj Mishra on Monday agreed to summon a session of the state assembly provided the Cabinet gave a 21-day notice even as Congress staged nationwide protests outside Raj Bhawans except in Rajasthan against BJP’s alleged attempts to destabilise the government.

Holding that he was never against calling an Assembly session, the Governor returned the Cabinet recommendation for the second time and sought a fresh recommendation for the purpose, incorporating a 21-day notice period.

The condition is part of three point suggestions the Governor has made to the Ashok Gehlot government. The other two include video recording and live streaming of the assembly proceedings and floor test, if it happens, and ensuring social distancing during the session.

“If the government wants to win a vote of confidence, then it can become a reasonable ground for calling the assembly session on short notice,” a Raj Bhavan statement said.

Taking a swipe at Mishra, Gehlot said he would respond to the Governor’s “six-page love letter” pertaining to the Assembly session. The CM has alleged that the governor is facing pressure “from above” to stall the assembly from meeting, a charge that Governor Mishra denied.

The Ashok Gehlot government is facing a political crisis after a rebellion by the now sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs.

CLP sends memo to President; Gehlot dials PM Modi

The Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party (CLP) said they have sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention on the ongoing impasse between Governor Mishra and CM Ashok Gehlot.

Jaipur: Rajasthan Congress MLAs during a prayer meeting organised under the ‘Save Democracy-Save Constitution’ protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government, at a hotel in Jaipur. (PTI)

CLP members in the memorandum claimed that horse-trading of MLAs was taking place in Rajasthan to topple an elected government. Governors of many states are “defying” the Constitution at the behest of the ruling party at the Centre without worrying about the dignity of the post, they alleged.

Meanwhile, Gehlot, during the CLP meeting, said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the current political situation in the state. Gehlot had also written a letter to PM Modi on the matter a few days ago.

“The chief minister told that he has spoken to the prime minister and apprised him of the current political situation in the state,” a Congress leader was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, after a meeting at a hotel where MLAs are holed up following rebellion by Sachin Pilot.

In the memorandum, the CLP members also said that despite prima facie there was evidence of horse-trading and corrupt practices by Union ministers and not removing them from the Cabinet would be a “blot on democracy”.

Congress protests across 8 states

Upping the ante against BJP over the ongoing political tussle in Rajasthan, Congress workers across eight states protested in front of Raj Bhavans, claiming that the saffron party was trying to topple non-BJP governments.

Protests were held by Congress state unites in Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.

In Uttar Pradesh, Congress state chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Rajya Sabha MP PL Punia and other party leaders were arrested while protesting outside the Raj Bhavan in Lucknow.

Tweeting about his arrest, Lallu said: “My 21st arrest in less than six months. Protest-demonstration is a right granted by the Constitution. Why is this government scared? Listen, BJP government, we will not tolerate the murder of democracy” he posted.

In West Bengal, Congress activists, while staging a sit-in, also raised slogans against governors in different states and BJP

“The states in which parties opposed to the BJP have elected governments, ruling party MLAs are either being intimidated or bought off to bring down the dispensation,” state Congress media in-charge Amitava Chakraborti was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “Overactive governors in these states are playing role in it,” he alleged.

‘BJP-appointed governors have repeatedly violated letter and spirit of Constitution’

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday alleged that that BJP-appointed governors had “repeatedly violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution”.

He also expressed hope that the President would intervene and instruct the Rajasthan governor to convene an assembly session.

“Governors appointed by the BJP since 2014 have repeatedly violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India. In the process, they have gravely impaired parliamentary democracy, its conventions and traditions,” Chidambaram said during a virtual press conference.

Chidambaram said there had been at least three landmark judgments – Arunachal Pradesh (2016), Uttarakhand (2016) and Karnataka (2019) – where governors concerned acted in “gross violation” of the constitution.

“Despite these judgements and the statements of law, the governor of Rajasthan has stalled — and continues to stall — a perfectly valid request of the council of ministers of Rajasthan to convene an Assembly session,” Chidambaram said.

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