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Sachin Pilot, 18 loyalist MLAs move Rajasthan HC challenging Assembly Speaker’s disqualification notice

Assembly Speaker CP Joshi late Tuesday issued show-cause notices to Pilot and the rebel MLAs for ‘anti-party activities’.

SNS | New Delhi |

Congress leader Sachin Pilot and his 18 loyalist MLAs on Thursday moved the Rajasthan High Court challenging the disqualification notice from Assembly Speaker CP Joshi and sought quashing of the same.

The Speaker late Tuesday issued show-cause notices to Pilot and the rebel MLAs for “anti-party activities”. It is learnt that the notices were issued for allegedly flouting the party whip and not attending Congress Legislative Party meetings called on Monday and Tuesday. The rebel leaders have been asked to respond by Friday.

Senior lawyers Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi are representing the rebel leaders while Abhishek Manu Singhvi is representing Rajasthan Assembly Speaker.

According to a report in IANS, Pilot had earlier approached Singhvi for legal help for the ensuing legal battle over disqualification notice to him and his MLAs.

However, he politely turned down the request.

According to party sources, non-attendance at the Congress Legislature Party meetings and “hobnobbing” with the BJP are the grounds for the disqualification battle.

After Sachin Pilot and the rebel MLAs gave the second CLP meeting a miss on Tuesday, the MLAs, who were reportedly present showing their support to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, had unanimously demanded that Pilot be removed from the party.

Following this, the Congress announced the removal of Sachin Pilot as the Deputy Chief Minister as well as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.

Two other ministers, Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena, who joined him in his revolt, were also dropped from the Ashok Gehlot cabinet.

On Monday too, Pilot and his flock of 18 MLAs had given the CLP meeting a miss.

Following this, a resolution by MLAs called for “strict disciplinary action” against anyone who did anything to weaken the government or the party.

Amid speculation of attempts being made for a formal patch up with former Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot, the top leadership of the Congress party, however, on Thursday said there was no progress on the front.

Top party source said, “Neither Pilot has approached us, nor anybody in the party has tried to contact him.”

The party is more keen to take back the MLAs who were siding with Pilot to weaken his plot of dislodging the state government.

Amidst the raging political crisis in Rajasthan and a catalogue of speculation, Sachin Pilot has made it clear that he is not joining the BJP and is still a member of the Congress.

He also denied “hobnobbing” with the BJP to topple the Rajasthan government as claimed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

On July 12, the sulking leader had declared open rebellion against his party by claiming that he has the support of 30 MLAs.

The whole political crisis began Friday night when the Rajasthan Police sent a notice to Pilot, asking him to record his statement over an alleged attempt to bring down the government.