Rajasthan political crisis | No immediate threat to the Congressional government in the state
After the political turmoil created by the rebellion of Chief Deputy Minister Sachin Pilot that led to his removal from Cabinet on Tuesday, there is no immediate threat to the stability of the Congressional government led by veteran Ashok Gehlot. The BJP opposition lags far behind the ruling Congress in its strength in the State Assembly.
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In the 200-member National Assembly, Congress – elected to power in December 2018 – has 107 deputies, while the BJP has 72. After losing the support of Mr. Pilot’s camp, Congress will still benefit from the support of smaller parties and 13 Independents, although the party moved away from three independent lawmakers.
AICC secretary general in charge of state Avinash Pande, who rushed to Jaipur on Sunday evening after Mr. Pilot’s rebellion, claimed that the Gehlot camp had the support of 109 MPs, belonging to the Congress and others, who had signed letters expressing their faith. in the direction of M. Gehlot. This makes Congress’ position secure, as it needs the support of 101 lawmakers for a simple majority.
Mr Gehlot, who met Governor Kalraj Mishra after a meeting of the Legislative Party of Congress (CLP) here on Tuesday, handed over a list of 104 MPs, claiming a majority in the assembly. According to congressional sources, as many as 102 MPs were present at the PLC meeting in which a resolution was unanimously passed demanding action against Mr Pilot and his supporters.
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One of the MPs, Bhanwarlal Meghwal, holder of the Social Justice and Empowerment portfolio, did not attend the meeting due to his poor health. Mr. Meghwal had recently suffered a paralyzing attack.
Mr Pilot had previously claimed that more than 30 members of Congress and some independent MPs had pledged their support to him. However, only 18 MPs skipped the PLC meetings held here on Monday and Tuesday, for which a whip was issued by the party.
Interestingly, two-thirds of Congressmen – 72 out of 107 – will have to quit the party to escape the anti-defection law. Political observers here believe that such a probability would be highly unlikely in the near future.
Read also: Analysis | Sachin Pilot Revolt Highlights Congressional Leadership Battles Across States
Sikar-based political analyst Ashfaq Kayamkhani said Mr Pilot may not be able to muster the number of lawmakers needed to topple the state government. The option to join the BJP is open to him, but a number of factors will influence his decision in this regard. The difference between the combined strength of Congress and that of the opposition rules out any Madhya Pradesh-like situation here.
Opposition leader Gulab Chand Kataria said in Jaipur on Tuesday that a ground test should be conducted in the assembly to prove the majority of the government led by Mr. Gehlot. However, the BJP has not yet officially filed this request with Governor Kalraj Mishra.
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Bharatiya Tribal Party chairman Maheshbhai Vasava launched a whip calling on the two MPs from his party, who support Congress, to remain neutral and not to support either the Gehlot faction, Pilot or BJP. The two CPI (M) MPs and the sole MP Rashtriya Lok Dal supported the Congressional government.