Jaipur: After getting a jolt from Rajasthan High Court, which on Friday, ordered status quo on disqualification notice issued by the state assembly Speaker to 19 dissident Congress MLAs, including Sachin Pilot, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot held a meeting with Governor Kalraj Mishra for convening the Assembly session.
The Governor, however, sought time to convene the Assembly session. This led to protest by Congress MLAs supporting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and they staged a five-hour dharna at the Raj Bhawan. The dharna was lifted after Governor Kalraj Mishra assured that he will call the state assembly sesion, but sough the government’s clarification on some points.
Governor Kalraj Mishra also wrote a letter to CM Ashok Gehlot stating, “Before I could discuss the matter with experts regarding Assembly session, you have publically said that if Raj Bhawan is ‘gheraoed’ then it is not your responsibility.
If you and your Home Ministry can’t protect Governor then what about law and order in the state?”
The letter further said, “What agency should be contacted for Governor’s security? I’ve never heard such statement from any CM. Is this not the beginning of a wrong trend where MLAs protest at Raj Bhawan?
Stating that ‘nobody is above constitutional decorum’, the Governor also made other observations:
1. The date from which the Assembly session is sought to be convened is not mentioned in the cabinet note nor it has any cabinet approval.
2. There is no justification nor any agenda proposed to convene the session on a short notice. A normal 21-day notice is mandatory for the same.
3. The state government has also been directed to ensure freedom to all the MLAs and their free movement should also be ensured.
4. The case related to disqualification of some MLAs is also under consideration of Honorable High Court and Honorable Supreme court. The state government has been instructed to take cognizance of it.
Instructions have also been issued to submit details as to how to conveve the Assembly session in view of the rapid spread of coronavirus in Rajasthan.
Earlier in the evening, CM Ashok Gehlot said that the Governor is the constitutional head and he could not have stopped the Assembly session from taking place “without some pressure from the top”.
Addressing a a press conference in Jaipur, he said “Why did he not decide yesterday? We’ve requested him again to make a decision soon. People are waiting.”
“I am sure that the Governor will not come under any pressure, he will make a decision. We hope the Assembly session would begin soon. So we are sitting here in protest. After he gives us a letter we will decide the further course of action,” Gehlot added.