The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday disposed off a petition filed in the case regarding the merger of six BSP MLAs in the Ashok Gehlot led Congress Government in Rajasthan giving some respite to Gehlot amid the ongoing political crisis in the State.
A division Bench of Rajasthan High Court gave relief to Gehlot and the Congress which is battling rebellion within since over a month now. The BSP and BJP legislators had appealed seeking a temporary freeze on the merger of its six former legislators with Congress Government.
The decision, expected on August 11, will have crucial implications for the Ashok Gehlot Government, which is struggling to hold on to its majority in face of the rebellion by Sachin Pilot and his 18 loyalist MLAs. Gehlot claims he has the support of 102 MLAs, one above the majority mark for the Assembly session scheduled on August 14. The BJP has 72 MLAs and with the rebel camp and three independents MLAs, the numbers of the other side will touch 97.
The halfway mark in the 200 member assembly will also come down to 97 from the current 101.
BSP and BJP had gone to court challenging the Speaker's decision in September 2019 allowing the merger of the six BSP MLAs with the Congress. The parties had demanded a stay on the participation of the six MLAs in the house proceedings -- crucial if the Ashok Gehlot government has to take a trust vote. The merger of BSP MLAs to the ruling Congress was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as it helped increase the party's tally of legislators.
Meanwhile, , Union Minister Kailash Chaudhary claimed the Congress government in Rajasthan would collapse and its countdown has begun.
Chaudhary said with the fall of Gehlot government, the Congress's politics too would come to an end in the State. Chaudhary, who is on a three-day visit to his parliamentary constituency Barmer, said the state government has lost the confidence of people and the chief minister has to confine MLAs to hotels.
"The Gehlot government will fail to prove its majority in the floor test in the Assembly. Not only the people of Rajasthan have lost faith in the government, ministers and MLAs too are not happy with the chief minister," Chaudhary said.
Amid a political crisis in Rajasthan, the MLAs supporting Gehlot are staying in hotels in Jaisalmer as the chief minister is trying to save his government, following a revolt by his former deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress legislators.