Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said that he will seek a confidence vote at the Assembly session scheduled on August 14 and claimed that the “rates of horse trading” of legislators had been increased ahead of the session, PTI reported. The Gehlot-led government is hoping to prove its majority amid the political crisis in the state.
“Earlier the rate was Rs 10 crore as the first installment and Rs 15 crore as the second,” Gehlot was quoted as saying by the news agency. “Now, it is being asked how much do you want? This means that the rate has increased. Everyone knows who is doing the horse-trading.”
“The floor test will happen, we are going to the Assembly,” Gehlot added. “The Assembly’s Business Advisory Committee decides this.”
Gehlot has repeatedly accused his sacked deputy Sachin Pilot of colluding with the Bharatiya Janata Party to topple his government. After an open revolt by Pilot and the legislators on his side, the Congress is left with 107 MLAs in the Rajasthan Assembly – including the six Bahujan Samaj Party turncoats. The majority mark in the 200-member House is 101.
The Rajasthan chief minister also accused Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati of playing into the BJP’s hands. The party had on Wednesday filed a petition in the Rajasthan High Court against the merger of six of its MLAs with the Congress. “All six MLAs merged, and according to their own conscience,” Gehlot said, adding that Maywati’s complaint was unjustified.
On Wednesday, the deadlock over the convening of the Rajasthan Assembly session ended as Governor Kalraj Mishra accepted Gehlot’s latest proposal to summon a session from August 14. This was the fourth proposal sent by the chief minister in the past week amid the political crisis.
Gehlot also said that he wanted the dissident Congress MLAs to attend the upcoming Assembly session, despite the recent political animosity between the two camps.