National : Amid Rajasthan turbulence, Speaker CP Joshi’s silence speaks volumes

By Archana Sharma

Jaipur, Oct 23 : “Kitne Aadmi The?” This iconic dialogue from Bollywood blockbuster ‘Sholay’ is still remembered and used many times in different perspectives.

In Rajasthan, this dialogue is doing the rounds after around 91 MLAs submitted their resignations. However, there is no confirmation or statement if the 91 MLAs really submitted their resignations to the Speaker since he has kept quiet.

Congress workers as well as the Opposition are surprised at Speaker CP Joshi’s silence.

While a few Congress leaders stated that Joshi is facing a ‘Catch 22’ situation, others said that his silence speaks volumes and raises many questions.

If he accepts these resignations, then the Congress crisis in Rajasthan will intensify and if he rejects the resignations, there might be pressure from the Sachin Pilot lobby for a leadership change, said Congress veterans.

As Mallikarjun Kharge has become the new national president of the Congress, all eyes are now on the high command regarding the ongoing political upheaval in Rajasthan. It is expected that a decision will now be taken by the leadership on the Rajasthan crisis. But constitutionally, the political crisis in Rajasthan hinges on the decision of Assembly Speaker CP Joshi.

As Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot have voiced different claims, Joshi now has an important role to play.

This is the reason why Gehlot has been continuously putting the ball in Joshi’s court on the matter of the resignations. On Thursday also, Gehlot told the media that we are not in the picture regarding the resignations. This is the job of the Speaker and he will decide according to the procedure.

Joshi’s silence on the whole matter is now raising eyebrows and triggering speculation. Observers find this behaviour of Joshi baffling as even after a month from September 25 when the drama unfolded in Jaipur as the high command called a CLP meeting, Joshi has not yet clarified his stand on the resignations. He is neither saying how many resignations he has received nor what is being done with the resignations.

Meanwhile, the BJP in Rajasthan recently submitted a memorandum to Joshi asking him who is running the government if 91 MLAs have resigned.

There is a state of confusion over the running of the government when 91 MLAs have resigned, it said, adding that the Speaker should accept the resignations as per Rajasthan assembly rule 173 (2) which says that if a member gives his/her resignation to the Speaker personally and informs that the resignation is voluntary and genuine, the Speaker may accept the resignation.

Our question is who is running the government in Rajasthan when 91 MLAs have resigned, said BJP state president Poonia, adding “If we think to decide on a majority, then not even 20 MLAs are running the government in the state, as out of a majority of 102, 90-91 MLAs resigned and the government is reduced to a minority,” he added.

The people of Rajasthan want to know about the failure of the constitutional machinery in the state, now the Speaker has to decide. The state government is being seen as a minority and seems divided, he added.

–IANS

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