The Bahujan Samaj Party has moved the Rajasthan High Court to seek the disqualification of six MLAs who had merged with the Congress last year as Mayawati has opened a new front against the Ashok Gehlot government in the state.
The petition, filed by general secretary SC Mishra, refutes the merger and claims the MLAs incur disqualification for voluntarily giving up their membership.
It comes a day after the party’s central leadership had on Sunday caused a new twist in the Rajasthan deadlock and issued a whip to the six MLAs to vote against the Gehlot government in any proceedings of the house, including in case of a no confidence motion.
Gehlot has been struggling to keep his government afloat after a rebellion by Sachin Pilot and MLAs loyal to him, and Mayawati’s new ploy could be just enough to tip the scales against the Congress in the state.
According to sources, Gehlot has been claiming the support of 103 MLAs in the 200-member assembly, but if the six MLAs are forced to vote against him, it could bring his government into a minority.
All the six BSP MLAs had last year merged with the Congress, which could lead to a tangle of technicalities as there are no BSP MLAs in the Rajasthan assembly.
Meanwhile Governor Kalraj Mishra today returned with queries the proposal of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for the assembly session from Friday. This was a revised proposal sent to the Governor but it also did not cut ice with him. The Congress has accused the governor of acting under pressure from the BJP to stall a test of strength in the assembly. The Supreme Court is all set to hear at 11am today a petition filed by Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi against the rebel MLAs led by now-sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot who engineered a revolt against the Gehlot government. The court on Thursday had refused to restrain the Rajasthan High Court from passing an order on the plea of the rebel MLAs challenging the disqualification notice against them and said it would be subject to the outcome of petition before the apex court.
Observing that the “voice of dissent” in a democracy cannot be shut down, the Supreme Court had refused to accept the plea of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi to either stay the matter pending before the high court or transfer it to the apex court.