New Delhi: After Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra Wednesday gave his nod to call an assembly session from 14 August, the rebel Congress MLAs of the Sachin Pilot camp told ThePrint Thursday that they are likely to attend it.
So far, his camp has remained incommunicado and the session might be their first loyalty test as Congress would also try and establish some form of communication with them.
“We will attend the session. Why won’t we?” said one of the MLAs. Asked when they will return to Jaipur, the MLAs said no date has been fixed as of now.
The rebel MLAs and Pilot have been holed in hotels in some undisclosed locations, but sources say they are most probably in Delhi.
Congress leaders in Rajasthan have been maintaining that out of the 18 MLAs from the Pilot camp, they are in touch with 5-6 of them, who have shown a willingness to return to the party’s fold.
“We have been trying to establish some contact, but they don’t even have their mobile phones. At least, we will get an opportunity to reach out to them now once they attend the session,” said a senior Congress leader.
According to another senior party leader, this is what Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been trying to achieve by pushing for the assembly session to be convened amid Pilot’s rebellion.
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The chief minister’s demand for an assembly session, Congress sources said, is a strategic move to force the MLAs of the Pilot camp to return to Jaipur.
“Now that the Governor has given his approval, the assembly will be held on 14 August and the rebel MLAs will have to attend the session too. For this, they will have to come out of their hideouts and return to Jaipur as a whip can be issued in this scenario, and if they don’t follow it, they run the risk of being disqualified. So there are greater chances of them attending it,” said the senior Congress leader.
Assembly agenda to be decided soon
The Congress has so far not mentioned about a floor test as part of the assembly agenda. The first Congress leader told ThePrint the agenda would be decided soon.
The state plunged into a political crisis after Pilot declared an open rebellion against the Gehlot government on 12 July, claiming to have the support of 30 MLAs. By the next day, however, he could not prove the support of more than 18 legislators.
On 14 July, 19 MLAs, including Pilot, were served notices by Speaker C.P. Joshi. The Pilot camp then approached the high court, which asked the Speaker to maintain a status quo and not take action against them. Joshi has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the HC order.
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