Jaipur: A detailed affidavit of the Rajasthan Assembly secretary filed in the Rajasthan High Court in the case of mass resignations of Congress MLAs on September 25 last year may start a new round of political conflict in the state Congress politics.
The affidavit clearly states that the MLAs did not resign voluntarily and now the political corridors of the state are buzzing with the question: and under what pressure did the MLAs resign?
The reply of the Assembly secretary filed in the case said “the MLAs individually in person urged (Speaker CP Joshi) to withdraw their resignations mentioning that those were not voluntary.”
The reply was submitted to a PIL filed by deputy leader of the opposition Rajendra Rathore seeking an order to the Speaker to either accept the resignations or explain why he won’t as well as a directive to the assembly secretary to produce documents and disclose the names of MLAs who had resigned on September 25 last year.
Sources in the party said this reply will give a strong reason to the party's high command to take action against the three leaders - ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi and RTDC Chairman Dharmendra Rathore, who were leading the MLAs and were served show-cause notices after the incident of the boycott of Congress Legislative Party meeting called by the observers sent by the party high command and tendering mass resignations to the Speaker on September 25 last year. Congress's high command is still to take action on this episode.
The reply has also made it clear that only 66 MLAs had resigned for Gehlot. It was claimed by Gehlot loyalists that out of 108 Congress MLAs 91 had resigned but the reply tells that the number was 81 of these, the resignations of five MLAs were photocopies so it implies that valid resignations were 76. Out of these nine were independent MLAs and one was expelled BJP MLA Shobharani Kushwaha. This brings the tally of Gehlot loyalists Congress MLAs to 66.
An MLA from Sachin Pilot camp said, “The reply has burst the claims of the Gehlot camp to have the support of 91 MLAs. It clearly shows that a large number of party MLAs are out of Gehlot camp and the act of mass resignations was a pressure tactic. Now the party should take the appropriate decision.”
Breach of privilege motion moved against Rathore
In the meantime, a breach of privilege motion was moved in the Rajasthan assembly on Tuesday by independent MLA Sanyam Lodha against Rajendra Rahtor who filed the PIL in Rajasthan High Court. Lodha who is an adviser to CM Gehlot said in the house that the speaker did not take a decision on resignations and the matter was under consideration with him. “Disappointed by the conduct of a senior member of the house, I am moving this breach of privilege motion.”
He said every citizen has the right to go to court but there is a clear arrangement in the Constitution, every constitutional institution has its functioning and jurisdiction is fixed.
The opposition BJP created uproar against this.
Speaker CP Joshi allowed Lodha to speak on the breach of privilege motion. The BJP members also stormed the well briefly. The speaker said when a discussion on the motion will be held, time will be given to the opposition members.
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