Civil society organisations in Rajasthan demand assembly session for political stability
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s camp is confident of its numbers and feels a floor test may be its best bet to end the crisis.Updated: Jul 26, 2020, 09:20 IST
More than 86 organisations, their 200 representatives and prominent individuals wrote to Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Saturday to express concern over the ongoing political crisis in the state.
Rajasthan is in the middle of a political crisis after the rebellion by former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and a section of legislators backing him.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s camp is confident of its numbers and feels a floor test may be its best bet to end the crisis. It has said the governor is delaying convening a session due to pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.
Mishra has denied the charge and said he will follow constitutional norms to convene the House.
“In order to give the people of the state political stability, the decision of the cabinet to call the state assembly session should be respected and the state assembly session should be convened urgently,” they wrote.
The letter also dwelled into legal arguments provided by several constitutional experts, who had a consensus that according to the Article 174 of the Constitution and the three Supreme Court judgments—1994 Bommai (Karnataka State), 2016 Rebiya (Arunachal State) and 2020 Shivraj Singh (Madhya Pradesh)—only floor test in Vidhan Sabha is the permissible way of establishing the majority of any party.
“According to article 174 if the Assembly has to be convened the Governor ‘shall’ act on the ‘aid and advise’ of the Council of Ministers headed by the CM,” the letter said.
It added that the only exception to this process, where the cabinet has exclusive rights to call a session of the assembly at the timing of its choosing, is if the governor believes based on an objective evaluation that the party in power has lost its majority--the only way in which its majority can be tested is on the floor of the house--and therefore, the governor can use his discretion to call the assembly under such circumstances.
“Under all other circumstances, the Governor is bound by the advice of the cabinet where he can neither deny nor delay their suggestion of calling a session of the Assembly,” the letter signed by Kavita Srivastava and Nikhil Dey on behalf of all the 200 signatories of the 86 organisations said.