Rajasthan stalemate: Congress tones down, won’t protest

Jaipur

The dilemma within the Congress about dealing with the Rajasthan political crisis was visible as it would not organise the pre-decided pro­test at Raj Bhawan. PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara has made this announcement. It is believed that the party does not want to put in jeopardy its delicate relations with the Governor. Governor Kalraj Mishra had expressed his ire at the protest and sloganeering in his lawns by Congress MLAs on Friday. The Congress now wants to adopt a reconcilliatory approach with its behaviour with the government as its priority now lies in obtaining the Governor’s nod for a special Assembly session.

The Governor on Sunday summoned chief secretary Rajeeva Swaroop and DGP Bhupendra Singh to the Raj Bhawan. He sought a report on the Corona situation in the state from the CS. He also sought a report from the DGP about the security at the Governor House.

The government also sent a revised cabinet note late Saturday night to the Governor with answers to his six queries. The government said it needs to call a special session in view of the Corona situation and to pass around half a dozen bills. It is now awaited the Governor gives sanction for a special Assembly session. The cabinet recommended a session be called after 7 days from July 31. The Governor has yet not given his nod for it.

Guv parroting Centre: Cong

The Congress accused the Rajasthan Governor of resorting to the "worst kind of obstruction of democracy" by raising "superficial and motivated" queries on Gehlot govt’s demand for convening a session of the assembly.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said his party wants a floor test in the state assembly and is "begging" for it, but the governor is not convening the House and "delaying" the trust vote allegedly at the behest of the central government.

"The country is battling against the coronavirus pandemic. The countrymen are facing a severe economic crisis. Over 14 crore jobs have been lost according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Small businesses are on the verge of closure. China has taken over our territory. But PM Modi, instead of fighting the virus, the economic crisis and China, is conspiring to topple Cong govs. The reality is the Modi Govt and the BJP have launched an attack on democracy & Constitution," said Ajay Maken, Congress leader.

Former Union Minister Ajay Maken
Former Union Minister Ajay Maken

Numbers play 2-prong role in state

Jaipur: Numbers have been a cause for concern in Rajasthan over the last fortnight. Wile both Gehlot and Pilot factions are concerned about garnering sufficient numbers in their respective flock, the state is contemplating what to do about the constantly rising number of coronavirus cases. Saturday saw an all time-high of 1120 cases and 11 deaths.

It was July 12 when a high-voltage political drama started playing out in Rajasthan. The multi-act drama continues to play out unabated, but also playing up on a parallel stage is the Covid-19 pandemic situation, which has taken a turn for the worse.

The situation does not bode well for the Congress as its MLAs have been locked up in a 5-star hotel for the last fortnight. Pictures of them enjoying sumptuous meals, sports, cooking classes and movie shows have been going viral. The MLAs are seen huddled close together and are not even wearing masks. It has served to create an image that they are rather unconcerned about the pandemic raging outside the high walls of the hotel.

The vicious backlash prompted a cabinet meeting where Covid was focal point of discussion, relief measures were announced, and the health minister reached his office to take stock of the situation. In the meantime, the steady stream of pictures reduced to a trickle.

Though the Gehlot govt fights an existential battle, it has to get a grip on the Corona situation, or else, it stands the risk of earning public ire. —Sangeeta Pranvendra

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