Battle for Rajasthan - Floor test expected on Wednesday, 22 July

Battle for Rajasthan - Floor test expected on Wednesday, 22 July

Ashok Gehlot camp: 88 (Congress) + 2 (BTP) + 2 CPM + 1 RLD + 10 (Independent)
Sachin Pilot camp: 19 (Congress) + 3 (Independent)
Opposition: 72 (BJP) + 3 (RLP)
Battle for Rajasthan - Floor test expected on Wednesday, 22 July

Why Wednesday:

Monday 20 July (10am): Hearing on Sachin Pilots petition to the Rajasthan High Court. Expected to be settled on the same day.

Tuesday 21 July (5:30pm): Sachin Pilot and his camp have to respond to the notices served by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

As the Chief Minister of Rajasthan announced an interim brief session of the state Legislative Assembly, political analysts and experts called it a masterstroke by the veteran leader. Experts on the constitution and the science of politics are of the view that this initiative by the Chief Minister in the late night hours of 18 July would set a precedent for the politics of democracy in the future. In the past, the call for a brief session of the legislative assembly to facilitate a  floor test has always been initiated by the Governor of the state.

The Ashok Gehlot – Sachin Pilot battle for supremacy seems to be nearing its grand finale, as the country fights its own war against the COVID pandemic.

After securing the support of the BTP MLAs (Rajkumar Roth and Ramprasad Dindor) who approached the Chief Minister at the hotel where the other MLAs have congregated, Ashok Gehlot in a late night masterstroke, took audience at Rajbhawan in Jaipur.  The Chief Minister presented his list of supporting MLAs to Kalraj Mishra, the Governor of Rajasthan.  Simultaneously, the Chief Minister also informed the Governor that he will be calling a brief session of the Legislative Assembly to facilitate the floor test and prove the majority for his government.

“You should not betray the party, the party has given you so much. I have been a three time central minister, three time PCC chief, three time AICC general secretary and three time CM because I went through the grind in the NSUI and Youth Congress. Leaders from our generation worked hard and stayed loyal to the party and its ideology and so we are where we are today,” - ASHOK GEHLOT, Chief Minister, Rajasthan

On the other hand, leaders of the opposition have termed this approach as invalid. Rajendra Rathore of the BJP said that the Chief Minister cannot call for a brief session of the Legislative Assembly till he presents his majority.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is in a position to call the brief session of the assembly on Wednesday, 22 July.

How will the floor test work

Sachin Pilot and his supporters:
Once the brief session of the legislative assembly is announced the Congress party will call for a legislature party meeting. Sachin Pilot and his supporters, being members of the Congress party will necessarily have to be present for the meeting.

If they fail to honour the whip to participate in the meeting and give their vote of support to the Congress, then their membership from the Legislative Assembly will be terminated under the Anti Defection Law.

The Floor Test proceedings – How they will work:

  • Currently the Gehlot camp has the support of 5 members from non Congress parties and 10 independent MLAs. This is how the 103 figure has been quoted by the Chief Minister to the Governor.
  • Total Congress MLAs in the Legislative Assembly: 107, including Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
  • If the 19 Congress MLAs in the Pilot camp do not vote for the government, Congress will be left with 88 votes of its own in favour of its current government.
  •  The BJP has 72 MLAs and support from another 3 MLAs from RLP. Total 75.
  • If the 19 MLAs of the Pilot camp do not vote in favour of the Government, the total votes against the government will be 97 (72 BJP + 3 RLD + 19 Congress (supporting Pilot camp) + 3 Independent supporting Pilot camp).
  • The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly will cast his vote ONLY if the votes in favour and against the government is equal.

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