Rajasthan political crisis: Sachin Pilot, 18 rebel Congress MLAs get notice, Speaker seeks reply by FridayUpdated: Jul 15, 2020 12:03 IST
Jaipur: The Rajasthan Assembly has sent show-cause notices to 19 rebel Congress lawmakers, including former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, on the petition of chief whip Mahesh Joshi, according to Speaker CP Joshi.
The notices were sent to the members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) electronically and also, put up outside their residences late at night on Tuesday.
HT has seen the notices that have asked the MLAs to respond by 1 pm on Friday.
The assembly would take a legal view of the future course of action depending upon the replies, said Speaker Joshi.
Earlier, the party had initiated the process of disqualifying the legislators, who failed to attend two consecutive Congress legislature party (CLP) meetings in Jaipur on Monday and Tuesday, as it scrambled to shore up the numbers and save the government from an imminent collapse amid the factional feud between CM Ashok Gehlot and challenger Pilot.
The decision came hours after Pilot was removed on Tuesday as Rajasthan Deputy CM along with two other ministers of the Gehlot cabinet -- Vishwendra Singh and Ramesh Meena.
The sacked ministers are considered to be close to Pilot (42).
Avinash Pande, Congress general secretary, in-charge of Rajasthan, said the party had initiated the process of issuing notices to the MLAs, who did not attend the CLP meeting, by submitting a petition before Speaker Joshi.
He said the absence of the MLAs from the CLP meeting amounted to giving up their membership of the party voluntarily, as they tried to destabilise the democratically elected Gehlot government. “We have filed a petition before the Speaker for their dismissal. If the replies aren’t found justified, then it is up to the Speaker to decide the future course of action,” said Pande.
There was no immediate response from the MLAs, who have been served the notices for skipping two successive meetings on Monday and Tuesday.
To be sure, Pilot has neither been expelled nor has he formally quit the primary membership of the party. The same holds true for all the other rebel MLAs.
Congress leaders confirmed to HT that 88 party MLAs attended Monday’s meeting, while 86 were present the following day.
Two MLAs – Speaker Joshi and minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal, who is admitted to a hospital – were not expected to attend the CLP meetings.
Later on Tuesday, the Congress also dissolved the state executive and all department and cells of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCCC).
Pande said these party wings would be reconstituted following the appointment of Govind Singh Dotasra, as the new Rajasthan PCC chief.