Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot wins trust vote

Our Bureau/ Agencies New Delhi | Updated on August 14, 2020

Ashok Gehlot   -  PTI

Will not let the government topple at any cost, he asserts

The Congress heaved a sigh of relief as the Ashok Gehlot Government in Rajasthan won the trust vote on Friday. The State witnessed political turmoil after former PCC president Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs belonging to his camp rebelled against Gehlot. The trust vote took place days after the Congress high command brought peace between the factions.

The Congress said in a statement after the trust vote that BJP’s “dirty tricks to topple democracy” will not work in Rajasthan. “Rajasthan is a land of glory, bravery and honour,” it said.

AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation and Rajya Sabha MP from the State KC Venugopal, congratulating Gehlot Government, said BJP’s daydream to topple an elected Government has been knocked down by the uncompromising unity and solidarity shown by the MLAs. “The Government will continue to work for the betterment of people in Rajasthan,” he said.

Voice vote

Earlier, the motion of confidence moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal was passed by voice vote, an expected win after the return of the dissident Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot to the party-fold. Replying to the debate on the motion, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticised the BJP, accusing it again of trying to bring down his government. “I will not let the government topple at any cost even if you make all attempts,” he said.

Gehlot said the crisis had come to an end in a beautiful manner and this had hurt the BJP. “What was done in Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh? Elected governments are being toppled and democracy is under danger,” he said, accusing the BJP of targeting Congress governments.

Without mentioning names, he alleged that a Union minister was involved in the conspiracy to topple his government, saying this had become clear after some audio clips surfaced. The indirect reference was to Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who had earlier rejected the Congress allegation

BJP’s counter

The opposition BJP accused the Gehlot camp of blaming it for the infighting within the Congress.

Targeting the chief minister for his comments against his now sacked deputy, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria questioned how Pilot became useless after the formation of the government when he had strengthened the party while in opposition. Mocking Gehlot for keeping his loyalists holed up in hotels for a month, he said if the government had a majority it could have proven it earlier. He also questioned the Congress government over the deployment of the state police at hotels where the MLAs were staying.

Pilot intervenes

Pilot intervened in the debate, reacting to remarks by Kataria and Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore. Referring to his seat being changed — earlier he sat next to Gehlot as the deputy chief minister — Pilot said he is now placed at the border between his party and the opposition in the House. “Who is sent to the border? The strongest warrior is sent,” he said.

Indirectly, he also referred to his meeting with the party high command. “But I want to tell that whatever I or my companions had to say, we have told the doctor about our complaints, he said, adding that the MLAs were now all together in the assembly after receiving the treatment. The House later adjourned to meet again next Friday.

Gehlot later said in Twitter that winning the trust vote in the assembly is a message to the forces that are trying to destabilise elected governments in the country.

“Their every tactic failed in Rajasthan,” he said. “It is people’s unwavering trust in us and the unity of our Congress MLAs that has brought this victory,” he added.

Published on August 14, 2020

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