Ahead of the crucial High Court verdict on disqualification notices issued by the Assembly Speaker to rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident MLAs, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the Assembly session would be called soon and claimed that he had “full majority” and all legislators of the ruling party were “united.”
“We will prove the mandate on the floor of the House,” he said.
“Some of the MLAs held hostage by the Pilot camp will also come and vote for us.They are calling us and telling us that they are being held against their wishes,” he told the media in Jaipur after the Supreme Court allowed the Rajasthan High Court to pass orders on a writ petition of the dissident MLAs.
As all parties involved in the legal tangle — the Speaker, the ruling party’s chief whip and the rebel legislators — kept their fingers crossed before the High Court’s verdict scheduled for Friday, Mr. Gehlot said those who had gone to the court after “committing mistake” had only taken exception to the disqualification notices served on them. “It has got nothing to do with the anti-defection law,” he said.
Mr. Gehlot slammed the raids being conducted by the Central agencies on the people connected with the Congress in Rajasthan, including that on his elder brother’s premises in Jodhpur. He said these “intimidatory tactics” would not stop the Congress from exposing the BJP’s “fascist ideology.” “The BJP is out to kill democracy. It is only the Congress which can fight it.”
Mr. Gehlot had mentioned Union Minister Mr. Shekhawat in the letter as the one involved in horse-trading of MLAs. The letter stated: “Malicious attempts are being made to topple elected governments by way of horse-trading. I have no idea to what extent you are aware of these developments or you are being misled. History will never forgive those who take part in such acts.”