In Rajasthan, a cabinet was held at the Rajasthan chief minister‘s residence to discuss points raised by the governor Kalraj Mishra for calling a state assembly session. Chaired by Gehlot, the meeting was called for discussing the points which were raised by Governor on Monday. Governor Mishra, after much dilly-dallying, gave his nod to the assembly session though putting forth conditions to be satisfied by the Gehlot government which is facing a rebellion from now-sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs. Conceding that securing a vote of confidence can be a reasonable ground for calling an assembly session on short notice, Mishra yesterday said the revised Cabinet recommendation does not mention it. Accordingly, he returned the Cabinet recommendation and sought another recommendation for the purpose, incorporating a 21-day notice period for calling the session for a floor test, a Raj Bhawan statement said.
In a related development, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Governor Kalraj Mishra’s “conduct”. Quoting a media article, Gehlot said this was the first time in 70 years that such a thing has happened. Gehlot has asked the President to intervene in the situation and ensure that the assembly be started immediately, saying it was the “constitutional right” of the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, three former law ministers — Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid and Ashwani Kumar — have written to Rajasthan Governor, asking him to stick to the rules. “A Governor is bound to act on the aid and advice of Council of Ministers in convening the assembly. Any deviation from the established constitutional position would be an avoidable negation of your oath of office and will create constitutional crisis,” their letter read.
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The crisis in the Rajasthan government started earlier this month as Sachin Pilot openly rebelled after longtime friction with his former boss Ashok Gehlot. The trigger was a summons for questioning in the alleged horse-trading by the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. Gehlot alleged that he had evidence of Pilot’s involvement in the BJP plot to topple his government.