Congress deliberating on timing of floor test amid uncertainty
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to prevent the Rajasthan high court from pronouncing its decision on Friday on the petition of the rebels, including Sachin Pilot, challenging disqualification notices issued to them by the speaker.Updated: Jul 24, 2020, 06:14 IST
The Congress on Thursday said it was not disappointed with the Supreme Court’s order related to disqualification notices issued to its 19 rebel lawmakers in Rajasthan as it was not expecting a favourable verdict and has prepared a political plan to deal with the crisis while it is confident of proving its majority.
” The legal battle is just a part of the entire political battle. Knowing and understanding fully well that the courts may not give a decision in our favour, we have prepared our political plan,” said Congress leader Ajay Maken.
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to prevent the Rajasthan high court from pronouncing its decision on Friday on the petition of the rebels, including Sachin Pilot, challenging disqualification notices issued to them by the speaker.
The Congress said there are two views in the party on holding a floor test in Rajasthan. “No doubt, floor test is the only solution and we can go for it any opportune time. We are confident of our numbers and will prove majority on the floor of the House. There are two views in our party. One section feels that we should wait for the proceedings in courts to be over and the other suggests that we should immediately go for the floor test,” Maken said.
“But as far as the floor test is concerned, we are very confident and will easily cross the majority mark with at least a margin of 15-20 legislators in the final count,” he added, without elaborating.
The Congress has the support of 101 legislators in the 200-member assembly; Pilot has the support of 22; the BJP and its allies have 75 members in the assembly; of the other two seats, one s the speaker and the other is an indisposed Congres legislator believed to be close to Pilot.
Chief minister Gehlot has claimed the support of 115 legislators.
Maken said a ruling party’s legislators seeking a floor test themselves is unheard of and also sought to establish a link between the dissidents and the BJP.
“ Why are Harish Salve and Mukul Rohtagi appearing for the rebel legislators? Will they ever appear for the Congress? Who is Gajendra Shekhawat? Why is [Union home minister] Amit Shah’s police protecting them (the legislators)? Why is ED [Enforcement Directorate] raiding relatives of the chief minister? Isn’t this the BJP’s open support to rebel legislators?”
The Congress has accused Union minister Shekhawat of being involved in the conspiracy to topple its government. It has alleged his voice can be heard in audiotapes of purported recorded conversations detailing a plot to bring down the government. Shekhawat has denied the charge and said he is ready for a probe.
BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli said the Congress’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling shows a lack of confidence in the strength of its arguments. “It is unfortunate that while invoking the honourable Supreme Court, which gave the Congress a patient hearing and is yet to adjudicate the matter, such a statement is being made. It confirms the Congress party’s lack of confidence in the strength of its own arguments.”