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Rajasthan Deadlock Ends, Governor Issues Order to Convene Assembly Session on August 14 with Covid Measures in Place

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (left) with Governor Kalraj Mishra.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (left) with Governor Kalraj Mishra.

The Raj Bhawan announcement came a couple of hours after the Ashok Gehlot-led Cabinet sent a fourth proposal to the Governor for summoning the Rajasthan Assembly, mentioning August 14 as the new date.

  • News18.com New Delhi
  • Last Updated: July 29, 2020, 11:22 PM IST
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The deadlock over convening the Rajasthan Assembly ended on Wednesday with Governor Kalraj Mishra agreeing to call a session from August 14.

The Raj Bhawan announcement came a couple of hours after the Ashok Gehlot-led Cabinet sent a fourth proposal to the Governor for summoning the Rajasthan Assembly, mentioning August 14 as the new date. The government argued this met the 21-day notice requirement on which Mishra had insisted earlier, counting the days from July 23 when the first proposal for the session was sent to the Raj Bhawan.

The Congress government had earlier asked for the session to begin on July 31.

Mishra had turned down three earlier proposals, saying if the government wanted the assembly summoned at short notice it should state that it planned to hold a vote of confidence. Otherwise, it should give 21 days' notice, he had said.

On Wednesday, the Raj Bhawan returned the third proposal sent by the government on Tuesday. But the fourth proposal sent on Wednesday night after another cabinet meeting was approved.

"The Rajasthan Governor has approved the Cabinet proposal to call the assembly session from August 14," a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said. "He also gave verbal directions to make the necessary arrangements for the prevention of COVID-19 spread during the session."

While returning an earlier proposal on Tuesday, Mishra had highlighted three points: a 21-day notice, live broadcast of the proceedings if there is a trust vote, and social distancing during the session.

As the impasse over calling a session deepened, Gehlot held a 15-minute meeting with Mishra at the Raj Bhawan. Hours later, the state Cabinet met to redraft the proposal, setting the new date.

"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.

On Tuesday, the state Cabinet had resent its proposal to the Governor the third time, sticking to the July 31 date for holding a session and refusing to mention that it planned to hold a trust vote.

In its reaction, the Raj Bhawan on Wednesday said the government had not given clear replies to his previous queries. It reminded that the Governor had 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 has been reluctant to state this in the proposal.

Mishra had also referred to the coronavirus pandemic then, asking the government to make it clear why it wanted the session summoned at short notice under such adverse circumstances. He questioned why the lives of over 1,200 people be put in danger without any special reason.

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.

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