Rajasthan governor rejects Gehlot's request for assembly session, again

Governor Kalraj Mishra insists on 21-day notice, says COVID situation concerning

kalraj-mishra Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra | Kalraj Mishra Twitter

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday rejected Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's request for an assembly session for the third time. The governor has reportedly returned the proposal to call a session on Friday with the comment that a 21-day notice is necessary and expressing concern about the coronavirus situation.

The state cabinet on Tuesday sent for the third time a proposal on the session to the Governor. Soon after the rejection, Gehlot called on the governor. "Rajasthan Governor has returned a proposal for calling an assembly session for the third time. I am going to meet him to know what he wants," the chief minister was quoted by PTI. The meeting, the second in recent days, lasted for about 15 minutes. "Whether Rajasthan governor seeks a notice of 21 days or 31 days to call an assembly session, we will be victorious," Gehlot said. 

At an event earlier in the day, Gehlot told party MLAs that he will meet the Governor again over summoning the session. 

A Raj Bhawan spokesperson described Wednesday’s meeting as a courtesy call.

It is to be noted that Mishra has already cancelled two proposals by the Gehlot government citing three reasons—a 21-day notice for calling a session, live broadcast of the proceedings in case of a trust vote, and adequate social distancing measures in the house amid the pandemic. In addition, the governor wrote that a session can be called at a short notice if the government says in its new proposal that it planned to seek a vote of confidence.

In its revised proposal sent on Tuesday, the Rajasthan government stuck to its demand that the sitting should begin on July 31 and refused to mention if it would seek a trust vote. Sources said the cabinet took the stand after discussing the suggestions made by Mishra when he returned a proposal from the state government to summon a Vidhan Sabha session.

The impasse between the Gehlot government and the governor has been on since last week, when Congress MLAs staged a five-hour sit-in at the Raj Bhawan demanding the session. Amid nationwide protests by Congress workers over the issue, Governor Mishra had on Monday said he had no intention of not calling a session.

In his note on Monday, Governor Mishra had said media statements by the state government indicated that it wanted to prove its majority through a vote of confidence, but this has not been mentioned in its proposal.

(With PTI inputs)