Rajasthan State Chief Ashok Gehlot moved his supporting legislators from a hotel in the state capital to the fortress city of Jaisalmer, to keep them from being poached by former State Deputy Chief Sachin Pilot and the national ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), until the Legislature meets on 14 August.
Amid court battles by both the ruling party and its opposition, Governor Kalraj Mishra agreed to Gehlot’s demand to convene the state legislature on 14 August, a demand he had earlier twice rejected. Gehlot wanted a session on Friday to prove his majority on the floor of the house, but agreed to the governor’s condition of a 21-day notice.
The chairman of the state legislature, C.P. Joshi, issued notices to 18 opposition legislators in Congress, that they should not be disqualified from the membership of the house under the law of defection. Joshi’s notice was challenged by legislators in the High Court of Rajasthan. Joshi challenged the jurisdiction of High Court of Rajasthan in legislative matters in the Supreme Court of India, as well, but later withdrew the petition.
The BJP has meanwhile demanded Joshi's resignation after a viral video surfaced purportedly showing him and Gehlot’s son discussing the ongoing political turmoil in the state. The BJP’s Rajasthan state president, Satish Poonia, claimed that Joshi has no moral ground, as his partisanship had been exposed.
After the governor announced convening a legislature session, Gehlot quipped that “the rates of horse-trading have increased”, alleging that the BJP was pressuring smaller parties to oppose the Congress government during any trial of strength.
“I believe, Mayawati (Chief of Bahujan Samajwadi Party) is indulging in political rhetoric on behalf of BJP. BJP is threatening Mayawati with reviving corruption cases against her,” he alleged.
मेरा मानना है कि मायावती जी जो बयानबाज़ी कर रही हैं, वो भाजपा के इशारे पर कर रही हैं। भाजपा जिस प्रकार से सीबीआई-ईडी-इनकम टैक्स का दुरुपयोग कर रही है,डरा रही है,धमका रही है, राजस्थान में क्या हो रहा है, सबको मालूम है...मायावती जी भी डर रही हैं उनसे, मजबूरी में वो बयान दे रही हैं। pic.twitter.com/biQXhSfV9p— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) July 30, 2020
The Congress government in Rajasthan saw rebellion by 19 legislators, led by Sachin Pilot. Pilot was dropped from the government and relieved of his duties as the chief of Rajasthan's Congress, after he revolted against the party's central leadership. Two ministers supporting him also were dropped from the ministry headed by Gehlot.
The Congress party alleged that the BJP leadership was trying to engineer defections and topple its government in Rajasthan, as was done in Madhya Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress government, headed by Kamal Nath, resigned after 22 legislators from the party withdrew support and joined the BJP, following the resignation of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the party. The opposition Congress legislators also quit their seats, paving the way for a BJP-majority government, with the support of some independents.