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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Rajasthan power play: Boost for Ashok Gehlot, 2 BTP MLAs extend support

The announcement of support was made at a joint press conference by the two BTP MLAs, office-bearers of the party and state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur | Updated: July 19, 2020 1:13:11 am
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma (left) with state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara in Jaipur. (Rohit Jain Paras)

Days after the party asked its two MLAs to abstain from voting for any side in case of a floor test in Rajasthan Assembly, the Bharatiya Tribal Party’s (BTP) two legislators on Saturday extended support to the Ashok Gehlot government, saying that they want the elected government to last for its entire five-year term.

Gehlot tweeted that the duo extended support to the government after a meeting with him about their demands. He also posted images of the two legislators, along with BTP office-bearers, giving him a demand letter.

“We have held three or four meetings with the Chief Minister and he assured us that our demands will be fulfilled. We are with our party’s decision and supporting the Chief Minister and the government, which relies on us,” Rajkumar Roat, BTP’s MLA from Chorasi Assembly constituency, in Dungarpur district, said.

He said that during the recent Rajya Sabha elections, the party gave the Congress its support with some conditions.

“Right from the beginning, we are against this attempt of the BJP to topple an elected government,” Ramprasad, the other party MLA who represents Sagwara (in Banswara district), said. “An elected government should last for its entire term of five years. We have always done politics based on issues. After we raised this with the Chief Minister he has agreed with us on the issues after due consideration.”

The announcement of support was made at a joint press conference by the two BTP MLAs, office-bearers of the party and state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara.

Earlier, after the current crisis unfolded in Rajasthan, the BTP had issued a whip and asked its two MLAs to abstain from voting for any side in case of a floor test. But during the press conference, Roat and Ramprasad said the party has decided to support the Gehlot government.

Congress leader Dotasara said, “The two MLAs want to say that in order to facilitate stability, they are 100 per cent with the Congress and the Ashok Gehlot government. I want to thank both honourable members and their party for taking this decision of putting their trust in our party to strengthen and save democracy.”

Roat was recently seen stating in two videos that he was not allowed by policemen to go to his constituency. On Saturday, he said the police have now said it was an instance of misunderstanding.

Without the 19 rebel Congress MLAs, including former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, the ruling party’s strength in the 200-member House is down from 107 to 88 — or 89 with support of ally RLD. Ten of 13 Independent MLAs — many of them former Congress leaders denied ticket in the 2018 Assembly polls — are expected to back Gehlot, The Indian Express had reported on Wednesday.

In recent Rajya Sabha elections, the Congress had got support of one MLA each of CPI(M) and ally RLD, besides the two BTP legislators.

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