Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot may seek trust vote, will allow time to reset ties | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot may seek trust vote, will allow time to reset ties

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Aug 12, 2020 07:09 PM IST

While the chief minister told HT that the decision on the floor test will be taken once the assembly session starts on August 14, a Congress leader said the move is unavoidable as the party cannot keep its legislators lodged in hotels forever.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to seek a trust vote despite the rebel legislators returning to the Congress as the move will give a breather of six months to the party to set its house in order, people familiar with the development said.

With 19 rebel legislators returning to the party fold, the Congress has a comfortable majority in the 200-member assembly.(ANI)
With 19 rebel legislators returning to the party fold, the Congress has a comfortable majority in the 200-member assembly.(ANI)

While the chief minister told HT that the decision on the floor test will be taken once the assembly session starts on August 14, a Congress leader said the move is unavoidable as the party cannot keep its legislators lodged in hotels forever.

The party’s two central observers – Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ajay Maken – have also been camping in the state for the past one month since July 12.

With 19 rebel legislators returning to the party fold, the Congress has a comfortable majority in the 200-member assembly. Congress leaders claim that the party enjoys the backing of 125 legislators, including independents, and other supporting parties.

“No doubt, floor test is the only solution and we can go for it at any opportune time. We will prove our majority on the floor of the House,” said the leader on condition of anonymity.

“We will get a breather of six months to address all the issues raised by party leaders and legislators from both sides,” he further said, referring to both the Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps.

Also, the three-member All India Congress Committee (AICC) panel formed to look into grievances of rebel legislators will submit its report by then, the leader quoted above added.

Another Congress functionary monitoring the party developments in Rajasthan said the government can move the trust vote anytime in the assembly.

He said the strategy for the session will be finalised on Thursday. The legislators, who were shifted to Jaisalmer on July 31, were back in Jaipur on Wednesday.

But the legislators backing Gehlot displayed their anger and resentment at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting at Jaisalmer on Tuesday over the “amicable resolution” of the crisis and return of Pilot and his supporters to the party fold.

As many as 70 of the 100 legislators were vocal against Pilot, questioning how could the Congress take the rebels back after they tried to topple the government, a party leader present in the meeting said.

“Who paid the fee of senior lawyers Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi? Who paid the bills of the hotel where rebel Congress legislators stayed? Why did the BJP government in Haryana and the 1,100 state police personnel protect the Congress legislators?” were some of the questions raised at the CLP meeting, according to this leader.

Gehlot told reporters on Wednesday that it was natural for these legislators to be upset and that they have to bear in the interest of the people of the state.

“It is natural for them to be upset. The way this episode happened, they had to stay in hotels. But I told them that in the interest of the country, state, its people and for saving democracy, sometimes we have to bear,” he said.

“We will work together and our colleagues who had gone have also returned and I hope that all will work together after settling the complaints and grievances,” the chief minister said, referring to the rebel legislators.

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