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Ashok Gehlot to Counter BJP's No-confidence Motion With a Trust Vote, Eyes Six-Month Breather

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (R) with Sachin Pilot (L) and KC Venugopal after the truce on Thursday. (PTI)

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (R) with Sachin Pilot (L) and KC Venugopal after the truce on Thursday. (PTI)

The Rajasthan assembly session on Friday comes days after the top leadership of the Congress announced the return of Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs to the party-fold.

After Sachin Pilot's patch-up with Congress, it's now a battle between the Congress and the BJP in Rajasthan assembly on Friday. The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to move a no-confidence motion, while CM Ashok Gehlot, who seems assured to win the floor test with the support of over 100 MLAs, has announced to move a confidence motion.

The Congress government will move a confidence motion in the Rajasthan Assembly during the session beginning Friday, a party leader said. This was announced Thursday at the Congress Legislature Party meeting chaired by Gehlot, which was attended by his former deputy Sachin Pilot among others.

According to sources, the Congress party will move the Confidence Motion when the house convenes around 11am. They said a Confidence motion does not need a prior notice unlike a no confidence motion. If the Chief Minister moves a Confidence Motion, it will supersede the no-confidence motion moved by any other member, according to the rules.

More importantly, as per convention, a no-confidence motion cannot be moved against a government for six months once it passes a no-confidence motion.

"The meeting was held in a very cordial manner in which discussions were held on moving the confidence motion in the assembly. All the MLAs pledged that they will work with unity under the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot," AICC general secretary Avinash Pande said. Just hours earlier, the opposition BJP said it will move a no-confidence motion during the session.

The assembly session comes days after the top leadership of the Congress announced the return of Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs to the party-fold. Referring to Pilot's open rebellion while addressing the legislators, the chief minister asked them to "forget what has happened", leaders who attended the meeting said.

The Congress on Monday had said the crisis in Rajasthan was a "closed chapter" and all legislators supporting its government will work towards strengthening the state government and fighting Covid-19 and economic calamities.

The Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-member assembly, and the BJP 72.

BJP's Plan of Action

Leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said on Thursday that even though the political crisis in the Congress has been resolved, all is still not good in that party as "one is going to east and the other to west". BJP state president Satish Poonia said the motion will be moved on Friday.

Kataria said the BJP and its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) have a total of 75 MLAs and of them, 74 were present in Thursday's legislature party meeting held at the BJP's office.

Poonia alleged that the Ashok Gehlot-led state government is a "government of contradictions". BJP MLA Madan Dilawar, who has challenged in the high court the merger of six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs with Congress, said the Rajasthan government has gone into a "state of coma" and therefore the opposition party has to move the no-confidence motion.

"This government is unstable and the works of people are not being done. We already had our preparations for the motion but it was finalised today in the meeting after taking the MLAs in confidence," he said. Dilawar also said all 75 BJP and RLP MLAs will support the motion. 

BJP national vice president and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, national vice president and state in charge Avinash Khanna and other senior leaders were present in the meeting.

(With inputs from PTI)

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