Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said that the state Assembly will hold a session soon and expressed confidence that his government will prove its majority amid the political crisis in the state, PTI reported. Gehlot’s remark came a day before the Rajasthan’s High Court’s verdict on the petition of 19 rebel MLAs, including Sachin Pilot, challenging the disqualification notices served to them.
“The majority is with us, all Congress MLAs are united,” Gehlot was quoted as saying by the news agency. Gehlot added that even without the rebel legislators, his government will prove its majority. “Those who have gone to court, those who have strayed, their only point is whether the disqualification notices served to them were justified,” he said, according to NDTV. “It has nothing to do with the anti-defection law.”
“They [the rebel MLAs] are calling us and saying that they are unable to come out,” he added. “I hope that some of them, when they come out, will vote with us.”
On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi’s petition against the High Court’s order to defer action on the disqualification notices sent to the 19 rebel legislators. The top court allowed the Rajasthan High Court to announce its verdict on the petition of the MLAs on July 24.
Joshi had served disqualification notices to the MLAs last week for “anti-party activities”. After the rebel MLAs approached the High Court, Joshi was first asked to defer action by three days. On Tuesday, the Rajasthan High Court said it would announce on July 24 its decision on the rebels’ petition and asked the Speaker to not take a decision on the disqualification notices till the final verdict. Joshi has challenged that court’s interference in the case.
After Joshi’s petition, Pilot’s supporters also moved the top court, requesting a hearing before a decision on disqualification notices served to them is taken.
The Congress government in Rajasthan has been on the brink of collapse after Pilot rebelled against Gehlot and proceeded with a few MLAs to Delhi earlier this month. Pilot was sacked as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and as the Congress’ state unit chief on July 14. The next day, Joshi disqualified Pilot and 18 other legislators. The Congress has accused the BJP of trying to bring down its government in the state.