National

Rajasthan Speaker asks clarification from rebel MLAs; Congress dissolves committees

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2020 Published on July 15, 2020

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Congress leaders and MLA's board a bus towards a hotel after a meeting at CM residence, in Jaipur, Monday, July 13, 2020. - PTI

The Rajasthan Congress on Wednesday initiated disqualification proceedings against former PCC president Sachin Pilot and his supporters. Pilot, on his part, said, while keeping all options open, he will not join the BJP.

The Congress Legislature Party’s Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi sent a letter to Speaker CP Joshi demanding disqualification of Pilot and 18 other MLAs from the Assembly.

The party high command, meanwhile, decided to dissolve all the District Congress Committees and Block Congress Committees of Rajasthan Pradesh with immediate effect.

New committees soon

“The process of formation of new committees will begin soon,” said AICC general secretary in-charge of the State Avinash Pande. The move is to help the new PCC president Govind Singh Dotasra take control of the organisation.

Joshi told BusinessLine that he has sought the MLAs’ version on a complaint by Congress Chief Whip demanding their disqualification for their comments that the Ashok Gehlot Government is in minority. Joshi said he will take a decision on Friday after considering their response. “I have received the complaint from the Chief Whip of the Congress party. I have given notices to the concerned MLAs. I will take a decision after receiving their replies,” Joshi said. The decision is likely to be based on the previous court judgements and Pilot and his supporters are possibly on the verge of disqualification.

Mahesh Joshi said in his complaint that the rebels should be disqualified under paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, that prescribes disqualification if an MLA voluntarily gives up the membership of the party he represents in the House. He said that the MLAs defied a whip and did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meetings on Monday and Tuesday. The letter also cited statements from Pilot camp that Gehlot has lost majority in the Assembly. Former ministers Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena have also been served with notices.

Gehlot told reporters that horse trading was on in Jaipur and the Congress has proof of it. “We had to keep people at a hotel for 10 days, if we had not done that, the same thing that is happening in Manesar now would have happened back then,” he said. Without mentioning Pilot’s name, Gehlot added that speaking good English or giving a byte is not everything. “What do you have in your heart, what commitment do you have, this all is seen,” he added.

Congress’s media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said Pilot will be welcomed back if he mends his ways. “Come back to your family, sit with your family and place your view before the family,” Surjewala said. He reminded Pilot that the Congress gave him a number responsibilities at a young age.

“I have seen Pilot’s statement in the media that he will not join the BJP. If you do not want to go to the BJP, stop accepting the hospitality of the BJP immediately,” he added. “Our young colleague Sachin Pilot was requested several times by the party leadership with an open heart to come and speak on the party forum if he has differences with the chief minister or any other leader,” he said.

 

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Published on July 15, 2020
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