The ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan seems to have reached the doors of the Prime Minister and the President as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday claimed that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him about the Governor’s “behaviour”.
Gehlot made the revelation before reporters shortly after Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, for the second time, snubbed the state government’s proposal for convening the Assembly session from July 31.
The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government, which is facing a political crisis after rebellion by 19 dissident Congress MLAs, including rebel party leader Sachin Pilot, wants to hold the assembly session to prove its majority.
The Chief Minister, who first wrote to Governor Kalraj Mishra requesting an assembly session from today and protested for five hours at his residence, the Raj Nivas, to push for it last Friday, submitted a fresh proposal on Sunday and listed Coronavirus and economy as the agenda for the special session.
However, the Raj Bhawan on Monday, returned the files related to the convening of the Assembly session to the Parliamentary Affairs Department of the state and sought some additional details from the Congress government on how it plans to conduct the session amidst the pandemic.
Following this, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told media persons, “Spoke to PM yesterday over Governor’s conduct. I spoke with him regarding the letter I had written to him seven days back.”
“The Governor has once again sent us a six-page love letter,” he said and added that Governors are bound to approve when an elected government calls for an assembly session.
“PD Acharya has written an article in which it is said that this is the first time in 70 years when the Governor has refused to call the assembly session,” Gehlot added.
Meanwhile, some Congress MLAs have reportedly sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind requesting his intervention to resolve the crisis in the state.
The memorandum informed the President of the alleged horse-trading in Rajasthan to topple the elected democratic government by the BJP.
In the memorandum sent to the President and drafted on behalf of Congress assembly members, it is mentioned that democratic and constitutional values are being openly flouted by the BJP which is trying to weaken democracy.
Also, there is misuse of agencies like the CBI, ED, Income-tax Department, to threaten the elected representatives which is highly condemnable.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, during the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting at Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur, said his party will go to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet the President, if needed and even go to the extent of staging a protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence.
Gehlot also said that the Congress will not let the BJP “succeed in their conspiracy”.
He made the remarks after Governor Kalraj Mishra refused to accede to Ashok Gehlot’s call for an Assembly session to prove his government’s majority, and sought a reply on six points from the state government, including about the reason to call a session of the Assembly for a floor test.
However, after the CM’s claim of phone call with PM, the Governor, on Monday afternoon, accepted Ashok Gehlot cabinet’s request and ordered the state government to call for an Assembly session from Friday.
In a statement, the Rajasthan Raj Bhawan said that “Not convening the Assembly was never the intention” and raised three questions for the Ashok Gehlot government on its proposal for convening the Assembly session.
The Governor questioned if the Chief Minister wanted to bring a trust vote or not.
Further stating that it would be difficult to call all the MLAs for the Assembly session in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor asked, “Can you consider giving a 21-day notice over the convening of Assembly session?”
The Rajasthan Governor finally questioned how social distancing would be maintaned during the Assembly session.