Headlines July 25, 2020
No action against Sachin Pilot for now, says Rajasthan court
The Rajasthan High Court has delayed its decision on whether Sachin Pilot and 19 rebel Congress leaders can be disqualified by the Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly. The court allowed Sachin’s last minute request to add the Centre to the case so it can also decide whether the anti-defection law applies to them. The verdict will affect the Congress government in Rajasthan.
Meanwhile Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot indicated that he is preparing for a floor test. The High Court had asked the Speaker not to take any action against the rebels until it gives its verdict. The Speaker challenged this request in the Supreme Court, arguing that no court had jurisdiction in this case and he was empowered to serve the notices.
“We will call the assembly session soon. We have a majority. All Congress MLAs are united,” said Gehlot to the media.
If the rebels win their case, they can vote in the assembly and pose a serious threat to Gehlot’s government. If they don’t, their disqualification will help the Chief Minister by bringing down the majority mark.
The Congress has a narrow lead over the opposition and has only two more than the majority-mark of 101 in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. Team Pilot has 19 MLAs and the BJP has 72. Including smaller parties and independent members, the opposition has 97 at the moment.
Pilot has emphatically denied Gehlot’s allegation that he was conspiring with the BJP to bring down the Congress government in which he was Deputy Chief Minister until he was sacked last week. He and other rebels have argued in court that they only want a change in the leadership and do not want to quit the party.
The Rajasthan police is trying to find two rebel MLAs in Pilot’s camp. The Congress alleges these MLAs were caught on audio making deals with a BJP leader.
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