Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday returned for the third time a proposal from the state government to convene the assembly, saying the Cabinet had refused to state the reason why it wanted a session at short notice.
As the impasse over calling a session deepened, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot held a 15-minute meeting Mishra at the Raj Bhawan. He was also scheduled to meet his cabinet again in the evening.
The Governor said if the government was not stating the reason for holding a short-notice session, it could call a regular session at 21 day's notice. He asked the Gehlot cabinet to resubmit its proposal.
"The love letter has already come. Now, I am only going to have tea with him," Gehlot told party workers at the state Congress office before heading for the Raj Bhawan.
The state Cabinet had resent a proposal to the Governor on Tuesday, sticking to the July 31 date for holding a session and refusing to mention that it planned to hold a trust vote.
While returning the earlier version of the proposal the Governor had suggested that the session can be called at short notice if the government says seeking a confidence vote is on the agenda. He repeated this on Wednesday, saying under those circumstances calling a brief session at short notice was possible while maintaining social distance.
"This can be a reasonable ground for calling a session at short notice," Mishra said in the statement.
Otherwise, he said, it would be better that state government calls a regular session, like the monsoon session, at a 21-day notice.
In the three-page press note from the Raj Bhawan, the Governor said the government had not given clear replies to his previous queries. He had earlier asked the state government to redraft its proposal, taking into account three points: a 21-day notice, live broadcast of the proceedings if there is a trust vote, and social distancing during the session.
In addition, he had said a short-notice session was possible if a trust vote was on the agenda.
Although the Congress has said it wants to prove its majority in the House, it is reluctant to state this in the proposal. A minister said Tuesday that it was for the Business Advisory Committee of the assembly to decide the agenda.
The Governor has now asked the Gehlot government resubmit the proposal giving a "solid reason" to call a session at short notice.
The Cabinet should also make it clear why the sitting is being summoned without much notice under the present adverse circumstances, Mishra said in a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the PCC meeting, Gehlot told Congress workers that there was nothing to worry about as the party's top leadership was with them.
Govind Singh Dotasara formally took over as the new chief of the state unit at the meeting.
Targeting the Governor, Gehlot said, "You have sent the letter a third time. What do you want? Tell us, so that we work in that manner."
Gehlot is caught in a power tussle with his now sacked deputy, Sachin Pilot, who has the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs. Altogether, the Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-member assembly and the BJP 72.