August 2020
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Kerala News
Gehlot camp ends protest after Raj Guv assures to call Assy session soon
Jaipur: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his supporters ended their protest inside the premises of the Raj Bhawan on Friday night, after the Governor gave them the assurance to call the Assembly session soon.

'BJP wants to topple the elected government through horse-trading. Mr Gehlot has the majority and we just want to prove it. The Governor has accepted our demand to call the Assembly session," Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told mediapersons here.

Mr Surjewala, however, said that Governor Kalraj Mishra has raised few questions regarding the session and for answering them, an urgent state Cabinet meeting has been called under the chairmanship of Mr Gehlot at 2130 hrs.

The Congress leader asserted that all the questions will be answered by Friday itself.

"The Governor told us that he will abide by the Constitution. Under Article 174, the session can be called," Mr Surjewala added.

The Congress wants Assembly in session from Monday onwards.

Earlier in the day, Mr Gehlot asked the Governor personally for an urgent Floor test.

While holding a press conference in the Pink City, Mr Gehlot warned that if the Governor fails to meet his demands, he along with his supporters, will 'gherao' the Raj Bhawan.

'The Floor Test is needed. Even Opposition and judiciary want it. Due to this political turmoil, people of the state are suffering," Mr Gehlot told reporters here.

"I know you (Governor) are under pressure from outsiders (BJP). Do what is right and moral," the Chief Minister opined.

In the afternoon, when Mr Gehlot got no response from the Governor, he took the MLAs to the Raj Bhawan from Fairmount Hotel, where they have been staying, since weeks.

In pictures that emerged on social media, the MLAs were seen sitting in the lawn of the Raj Bhawan and wearing mask and maintaining social distancing as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

Several MLAs, in video-clips, were heard raising slogans like "Rajyapal Mahodya House Bulao" (Honourable Governor, call the House).

The Governor declined the request for floor test in the first meeting with Mr Gehlot.

Apprising the Chief Minister about the COVID-19 situation, the Governor said calling an urgent session of Assembly amid the pandemic needs wider and broader consideration.

Dissatisfied with the Governor's explanation, the Gehlot camp continued their protest by sitting in the lawn of the Raj Bhawan, which went till the night and ended only after Governor's assurance.

The development comes against the backdrop of the High Court ordering status quo on disqualification notices, sent by the Speaker to 19 Congress rebel MLAs, including former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.

The status quo means that Speaker C P Joshi cannot proceed with disqualification.

If the disqualification of 19 MLAs takes place, the strength of the Assembly will be reduced to 181, with a new halfway-mark of 91 required to rule the House.

In the present Assembly, Congress has 107 MLAs, while BJP has 72.

Rajasthan plunged into a political crisis after Mr Pilot and his loyalists revolted against Mr Gehlot and left the desert state.

Later, Mr Pilot was stripped of the dual posts of Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president. Mr Pilot, along with the rebels, remained cemented in Manesar Hotel, over 280 km away from the Pink City.

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