On the other hand, reports have claimed that Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan goverment may go for floor test as early as Wednesday.On Friday, the high court had directed that no action be taken against Sachin Pilot and the other rebel Congress MLAs until Tuesday and had deferred the hearing of their plea challenging the state assembly speaker’s disqualification notices.Congress had sacked Sachin Piot as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and also removed him as Pradesh Congress Committee president.
The Rajasthan High Court on Monday resumed its hearing on a petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress dissident MLAs challenging the disqualification notices to them issued by the Assembly Speaker CP Joshi. The division bench of the court, comprising of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta, is hearing the matter.
While Harish Salve and Mukul Rohtagi are appearing on behalf of the Pilot and other MLAs, the Speaker is being represented by noted lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, representing the Rajasthan Speaker, tells the court that Speaker’s order can be challenged only on the limited ground but those grounds aren’t there in the petition.
Congress had registered a complaint with the Speaker demanding disqualification of Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs from the Rajasthan Assembly for defying a party whip. The 19 rebels Congress MLAs have revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and skipped the Congress Legislature Party meetings held on July 13 and 14.
Following his open revolt against Gehlot, the Congress took strong action against Pilot and camp. The ruling party sacked Piot as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and also removed him as Pradesh Congress Committee president.
The petition filed by the dissidents read: “By way of the instant notice, the voice of the petitioners seeking a leadership change within the party, expressed in the most democratic manner, is sought to be stifled and the petitioners are threatened with abdication of their right to express their reservations about the functioning of such leadership”.
“The undue haste and swiftness exhibited by the authority concerned in taking cognisance of the said complaint leaves no doubt in the minds of the petitioners that the move is aimed at arriving at a foregone conclusion leading to the disqualification of the petitioners,” it further states.
They have argued that their grievances against the functioning of the government were not tolerated by the chief minister and he called for CLP meet without any agenda and ‘levelled certain baseless allegations against them’.
The Congress on July 17 suspended rebel MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from the primary membership of the party for allegedly conspiring with the BJP in trying to topple the Rajasthan government.