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Congress MLAs return to Jaipur

Homecoming: Congress legislators arriving at the Jaipur airport on Wednesday.

Homecoming: Congress legislators arriving at the Jaipur airport on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress MLAs sequestered at a resort near Jaisalmer for the last two weeks during the political turmoil in Rajasthan returned to Jaipur on Wednesday, two days before a crucial session of the Assembly beginning on August 14. The MLAs were taken to a hotel on the outskirts of the city, where they had stayed for several days last month.

The legislators were flown back to the State Capital after the dissident MLAs, led by Sachin Pilot, called truce and came back to the party fold. The MLAs, who were supporting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, will go straight from the hotel to the Assembly for attending the session. They are likely to return to their respective constituencies after the session is over.

Floor test

The sources in the ruling Congress said the government would go in for a floor test despite having the numbers in its favour and Mr. Pilot and his band of 18 rebel MLAs having returned to the party fold. The Business Advisory Committee, expected to meet on Thursday, will decide the timing of the floor test.

Also read: Rajasthan political crisis | In u-turn, Ashok Gehlot now ready to accept rebels

The MLAs supporting Mr. Gehlot were reportedly upset over the return of Mr. Pilot and dissident legislators and demanded that their feelings be conveyed to the party’s top leadership. Several MLAs said before leaving Jaisalmer that the rebels should not be accommodated in the party positions and posts.

CLP meet

However, all the MLAs, including the rebels, are likely to attend a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting to be held here on Thursday. Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot are expected to come face-to-face at the meeting for the first time after the crisis erupted last month following the rebellion staged by the latter.

Judicial indiscipline: On Rajasthan political crisis

Mr. Gehlot told reporters in Jaisalmer that the resentment among the Congress MLAs, lodged in hotels for a month, was “natural” after the return of dissidents to the party fold, but said he had asked them to “forgive, forget and move on” in the interest of democracy and for the welfare of people of the State.

The Chief Minister said all the legislators, including the “colleagues who had left and come back,” would work together to fulfil their commitment to serve the State. “More than 100 MLAs stayed together for such a long time... If the democracy is alive in the country, it is because of the contribution of the Congress leaders,” he said.

Also read | Justice, slow but sure: On Rajasthan ex-royal murder case

Mr. Gehlot expressed the hope that the legislators would be “able to openly discuss” the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and the financial conditions created after the lockdown during the Assembly session. “I am sure, there will be support from the ruling as well as Opposition sides in providing good governance and this will give new confidence to the people in the State,” Mr. Gehlot tweeted.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 10:38:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-mlas-return-to-jaipur/article32338475.ece

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