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Political crisis: BJP leaders claim ‘Breakdown of Administration in Rajasthan’

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New Delhi: The outcome of the special leave petition filed by Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi in the Supreme Court and the high court verdict on the six BSP MLAs who had joined Congress will determine the future course of action for BJP.

Meanwhile, BJP has been building the case that there is a complete breakdown of administration in Rajasthan under chief minister Ashok Gehlot and a state of anarchy prevails. BJP memorandum to governor Kalraj Mishra stated that the threat of Raj Bhavan gherao is a fit case for sedition charges. BJP has also alleged that Rajasthan has seen a rise in rape of minor girls, corruption and laxity in fighting Covid-19.

Mishra himself has referred to the threat to Raj Bhavan and questioned the state of governance in Rajasthan. However, BJP leaders maintain it is too early to say if the state is headed towards President’s rule.

“The chief minister is abetting and instigating the crowd to gherao the Raj Bhawan. The police in the state are acting as an agent of Congress. Fighting corona is not the priority of the government, saving the CM chair is. Congress is inviting such a situation,” said BJP Rajasthan unit chief Satish Poonia when asked if the state is headed towards President’s rule.

Leader of the opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said it is early to say what will happen but the way Gehlot and his MLAs are conducting themselves, shows the state “may be moving towards that (President’s Rule)”.

BJP leaders maintain that a floor test is the ultimate way to determine the fate of the Gehlot government. “The cabinet has the right to suggest to the Governor to call the assembly session. But you cannot bind the governor and it is for him to decide, on a constitutional basis, as to how soon the session can be called… The chief minister did not give any reason on why the assembly should be convened. Now, I think his plan is to move some bill, issue a whip for it and when the rebels don’t follow it, get them disqualified,” Kataria told ET.

Gehlot has informed Mishra that the session should be held to discuss the pandemic, the state of Rajasthan’s finances and pass some important bills. Since there is no mention of a trust vote, BJP feels the CM will use defying of a whip on a bill as a proof of defection and get Sachin Pilot and the 18 MLAs disqualified. Failure to get the bill passed, provided it is not a money bill, cannot be read as the government being in a minority.

Kataria and Poonia insist Gehlot will not be able to win a trust vote. They argued Gehlot’s claim of majority is thin and not all of these MLAs are likely to stay with him.“The kind of language the CM is using (against Pilot and the governor) shows he is baffled and has lost confidence,” said Kataria.

Referring to the case filed by Madan Dilawar in the Rajasthan HC against BSP MLAs, Poonia said it is a strong case and they are likely to be disqualified, which will turn the Gehlot government into a minority.

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