— NDTV (@ndtv) August 14, 2020
Replying to the debate on the motion, Chief Minister Ashok 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.
During the debate, the opposition BJP accused the Gehlot camp of blaming it for the infighting within the Congress.
The Congress decided to move a trust vote after the Congress Legislature Party meeting at Gehlot’s residence, chaired by him, and attended by Pilot and all the rebel Congress MLAs.
Party sources told The Indian Express that Gehlot has said, “We would have gone for a floor test without some of our friends (the rebel MLAs) and perhaps the government would have been saved, but honestly, we wouldn’t have been happy deep inside. Our dear ones are our own, outsiders are outsiders.”
Pilot was suspended as deputy chief minister of Rajasthan and Congress state unit chief last month. The party had also removed Pilot loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet.
PTI reported that on Thursday, all eyes were on the meeting between Gehlot and Pilot who came face to face for the first time after the month-long political crisis which began after the latter, along with 18 other MLAs of the party, openly rebelled against the chief minister.
Pilot and Gehlot shook hands in a moment marking the return of the sacked deputy chief minister and 18 other dissident MLAs to the party-fold, after the intervention earlier this week of the top Congress leadership in Delhi.
The BJP has said it will move a no-confidence motion against the Congress.
“The BJP will move a no-confidence motion in the assembly. We are getting ready our proposal, which will be signed by our MLAs. We will include all points like mismanagement in handling the coronavirus pandemic and the deteriorating law and order situation,” PTI quoted Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria as saying.
The BJP MLAs’ meeting was also attended by the party’s national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna, former CM Vasundhara Raje and Union minister Narendra Tomar.
Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati issued a whip to 6 of her party MLAs who have merged with the Congress.
Scroll.in quoted a press note by the BSP as saying, “All six MLAs have been directed under para 2(1)(a) of the Xth Schedule to vote against the Congress Party in any No-Confidence motion or any other proceedings to be held during the Assembly session of Rajasthan Assembly and if they violate the same they will face disqualification under para 2(1)(b) of the Xth Schedule.”
Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant any interim relief on a plea of a BJP MLA seeking a stay on the Rajasthan Speaker’s decision that had allowed the six BSP MLAs to merge with the Congress.
The Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-member assembly, and the BJP 72.