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Rajasthan Crisis: Gehlot Again Calls for Floor Test, Says Will Protest at PM's House if Necessary

CM Ashok Gehlot speaks to Congress MLAs at Fairmont Hotel.

CM Ashok Gehlot speaks to Congress MLAs at Fairmont Hotel.

At a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), Gehlot indicated that the plan was to have a floor test to prove that the majority of Congress MLAs and allies are with him in the tussle for power.

A day after leading a dharna at the Raj Bhawan here, Rajasthan Chief Minister on Saturday said if necessary Congress MLAs will meet the President and hold a sit-in outside the prime minister's home to settle the crisis in the state.

At a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), Gehlot indicated that the plan was to have a floor test to prove that the majority of Congress MLAs and allies are with him in the tussle for power.

"He said the government has the majority and wants to go to the assembly floor," a statement issued by Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi after the CLP meeting said.

The CLP meeting was held at the hotel where the MLAs in the Gehlot camp are holed up for days.

"The chief minister asked us to remain prepared to stay longer at the hotel. If required, he said, we would go to meet the President and would also hold a dharna outside the prime minister's residence," a party leader said.

On Friday, Congress MLAs had squatted on the lawns of the Raj Bhawan for five hours, demanding that Governor Kalraj Mishra should summon a session of the Vidhan Sabha.

According to the party's statement, Gehlot told the CLP that it was fight to save democracy. He said the strategy for the future will be planned after taking the feedback from the MLAs.

"Wherever we need to go, be it Rashtrapati Bhavan or outside the Pradhan Mantri's residence, we aren't going to stop," the statement quoted him as saying.

Apparently referring to the Raj Bhawan dharna, AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the unity shown on Friday was "amazing" and it will be remembered how 102 people together defeated those trying to crush the Constitution. The dharna at the Raj Bhawan was called off Friday night, according to the Congress, after Mishra said he will abide by the Constitution but not act under any pressure.

The Governor asked Gehlot to submit again his recommendation for calling a session, clarifying six points. These included queries on free movement of MLAs and the reason the session needs to be summoned urgently.

Gehlot's government has been under threat after his now sacked deputy Sachin Pilot rebelled. Eighteen other dissident MLAs have also defied the party whip to attend CLP meetings.

Including the 19 dissidents, the Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-member assembly and the BJP 72.

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