Rajasthan turmoil : All eyes on Aug 14


Jaipur, (UNI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday alleged that BJP was still continuing the horse-trading of MLAs and offering an unlimited amount to topple the democratically-elected government in the desert state.

'Since last night, when the Governor accepted the proposal for the calling the Assembly, BJP has raised its offer from Rs 25 crore to an unlimited amount. They (BJP) are continuously calling my MLAs on phone and asking their demand. But, we are united and will fight together,' Mr Gehlot told reporters here.

The Chief Minister claimed that assembling of the House from August 14 has panicked the BJP leaders, as they were continuously trying to postpone the session to buy more time to break few more MLAs from the Congress through money power.

He asserted loudly that Floor Test will take place and they will retain majority in the 200-member Assembly.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister held the Congress Legislative Party meeting at Fairmount Hotel in the outskirts of the Pink City, where the MLAs supporting him are staying since weeks.

As per reports, Mr Gehlot urged the MLAs to continue to show unity and remain inside the hotel till August 14.

The Chief Minister, according to sources, told the MLAs that he has numbers and there was nothing to worry about.

However, a new twist has emerged in the political battle for the royal state.

A video-clip has surfaced on social media of purported conversation of Speaker C P Joshi and Mr Gehlot's son Vaibhav. In the clip, the Speaker is allegedly heard saying, 'If 30 MLAs left, you couldn't have done anything. They would have brought down the government… The situation is tough. You could have done nothing, except raise hue and cry.'

The clip, which was yet to verified, attracted sharp criticism from BJP, which demanded the Speaker's resignation on moral grounds for allegedly showing his sympathy to Congress.

Rajasthan BJP president said, 'The Speaker's post is apolitical. But, he has a bend towards the Congress. He should immediately resign on moral grounds.'

Meanwhile, Rajasthan High Court issued notices to six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs and the Speaker on a petition filed by a BJP Legislator, challenging the merger of these MLAs with the Congress, soon after the 2018 Assembly results.

Interestingly, BSP chief Mayawati has already asked her six MLAs to vote against Mr Gehlot, if the Floor Test takes place. She has claimed that Mr Gehlot took her MLAs illegally and she wants to teach him a lesson.

Reacting on the BJP moving the court against the merger, Mr Gehlot said, "When four Rajya Sabha Telegu Desam Party (TDP) members merged with BJP, then it was okay. But when BSP MLAs joined the Congress in Rajasthan, BJP is having a problem."

Mr Gehol also stated that he was disappointed with Ms Mayawati."Her allegations are completely baseless. All six MLAs joined the Congress. It was a merger of a party. Had two or three joined, then it would had been illegal," he claimed.

Meanwhile, the BJP high command is maintaining a 'radio silence' over the day-to-day political developments.

Also, former chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs, holed up in Manesar hotel in Haryana, have chiefly remained quite on Gehlot's allegations. Mr Pilot has categorically rejected the rumours of him joining the BJP.

What happens this August, is yet unclear.