Gehlot mocks BJP for abortive bid to topple his Govt
The Ashok Gehlot dispensation won the confidence motion by a voice vote in the Rajasthan Assembly on Friday, ending the threat to its existence triggered by a rebellion within the Congress ranks in the State led by his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
The motion of confidence moved by Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal was passed by voice vote, an expected win after the return of the 19 dissident Congress MLAs led by Pilot to the party-fold.
Replying to the debate on the motion, Gehlot criticised the BJP, accusing it again of trying to bring down his Government. “I will not let the Government topple at any cost even if you make all attempts,” he said.
Gehlot said the crisis had come to an end in a beautiful manner and this had hurt the BJP. “What was done in Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh? Elected Governments are being toppled and democracy is under danger,” he said, accusing the BJP of targeting the Congress Governments.
Without taking names, he alleged that a Union Minister was involved in the conspiracy to topple his Government, saying this had become clear after some audio clips surfaced.
The indirect reference was to Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who had earlier rejected the Congress allegation.
Gehlot also questioned whether agencies like ED, CBI and Income Tax department are not being misused in the country? “When you hold conversation on telephone, don’t you say the other person to join you on Facebook and WhatsApp. Is this good thing in a democracy?” the CM said.
Gehlot also took potshots on the role of Governor with whom he and his party had to struggle to call the Special Session as the Raj Bhavan was reluctant.
“The post of the Governor has lost its dignity. Don’t provoke me or else I will be forced to share what transpired between the Governor and me. I think the Governor was under pressure. Hundered editorials have been written about the situation in the State after the Governor returned the file on the State Government’s wish to convene an Assembly session. The job of the Governor is no more than asking to prove majority in the House,” Gehlot said in the Assembly.
Using his speech during the debate, Pilot said, “I want to tell that whatever I or my companions had to say, we have told the doctor (Congress high command) about our complaints. The MLAs are now all together in the Assembly after receiving the treatment.”
Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia said the State Congress Government is suffering from a “political corona”, even though it has won the vote of confidence. Poonia remarked that the way Pilot spoke in the Assembly makes it clear that there are still some differences between Gehlot and Pilot.
On Poonia’s comments Pilot said he would like to clarify that “I, my work style, my work, my colleagues, and what we discuss within the party, leave it to us. Today’s session is about trust vote. I don’t want to interrupt anyone’s speech. Whether I was pained by anyone’s statement or not, leave it to me. It will be better if we discuss issues facing this Government”.
The Opposition BJP accused the Gehlot camp of blaming it for the infighting within the Congress.
Targeting the Chief Minister for his comments against his now sacked deputy, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria questioned how Pilot became useless after the formation of the Government when he had strengthened the party while in Opposition.
Mocking Gehlot for keeping his loyalists holed up in hotels for a month, he said if the Government had a majority it could have proven it earlier.
He also questioned the Congress Government over the deployment of the state police at hotels where the MLAs were staying.
The rebellion by Pilot ended earlier this week after the intervention of the party’s top leadership in Delhi, which assured that his grievances will be heard. On Thursday, Gehlot and Pilot shook hands.
During the debate on the motion, Dhariwal blamed the Centre for trying to “topple” the Governments in Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Goa, using money and power, but said a similar attempt in Rajasthan would not succeed.
Referring to Akbar, he said the Mughal emperor had to taste defeat in Mewar of Rajasthan during his quest to expand his empire. Similarly, the BJP’s attempts to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress Government were defeated, he added.
In a statement AICC said the trust vote in Rajasthan has brought a “new light” to the darkness prevailing in many corners of the democracy. Today, the “belief of the limitless possibilities” in the development of 8 crore citizens of Rajasthan has defeated hatred, negativity and despair, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
Adding that this had put a full stop on all “suspicions” that were rising, Pilot said, “A roadmap has been prepared for all the issues that were being raised. I have complete faith, that roadmap will be announced timely.”
“Today in the Assembly, our Government has cleared the trust vote by a huge majority. A lot of rumours have been laid to rest through our united show today. I am sure that the Congress high command will, in a time-bound manner, roll out the roadmap and dealt with issues raised by us appropriately. The Opposition tried to unsettle us by highlighting issues like my seating arrangement. It is a non-issue. Till my last breath I will work for Rajasthan,” Pilot told the media outside the Assembly after the trust vote.
Saturday, 15 August 2020 | PNS | New Delhi/Jaipur
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