MLAs’ Resignation: Uproar in Rajasthan Assembly Over Privilege Motion on PIL by BJP Leader

Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 20:01 IST

Congress MLAs leave for the residence of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi for a meeting, in Jaipur, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (PTI Photo)

The Gehlot loyalists were opposed to the possibility of the centre leadership picking Sachin Pilot for the job

The opposition BJP created uproar in the Rajasthan Assembly on Tuesday against a breach of privilege motion moved by an independent legislator against the filing of a plea in the high court over the resignations last year by 81 MLAs.

Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore filed the PIL last month seeking directions to the legislative assembly Speaker to decide on the resignations given by the MLAs of the ruling Congress during last year’s political crisis.

The resignations on September 25 by 81 MLAs — including 70 from the Congress – were meant to express solidarity with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

Speaker C P Joshi allowed independent MLA Sanyam Lodha to speak on the breach of privilege motion after Zero Hour, a move opposed by Rathore.

Irked by the interruption, the Speaker said he was conducting the House as per the rules and Rathore cannot dictate to him. An argument between the both continued for some minutes.

Joshi said it was his right to allow the motion. “The House is run by rules and not by your will. You cannot dictate to me.” In September, 70 Congress MLAs submitted their resignations while boycotting the Congress Legislature Party meeting called to decide on Gehlot’s successor as CM.

The Gehlot loyalists were opposed to the possibility of the centre leadership picking Sachin Pilot for the job.

They “withdrew” the resignations earlier this month. On Monday, the Rajasthan high court was informed that the resignations by 81 MLAs were “not voluntary” and have been withdrawn.

As Rathore and other members continued the uproar, the Speaker asked him to read rule 157 of the rules for conduct of business in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.

The BJP members also stormed to the Well of the House briefly.

When Rathore did not adhere to the Speaker’s directions, Joshi himself read the rule aloud, “A member may, with the consent of the Speaker, raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or of a Committee thereof.” However, Rathore continued to protest.

The Speaker said opposition members will get time when a discussion on the motion is held.

With the Speaker’s permission, Lodha spoke on the motion.

He said the Speaker did not take a decision on resignations and the matter was under consideration with him.

“Disappointed by the conduct of a senior member of the House, I am moving this breach of privilege motion,” he said.

He added that every citizen has the right to go to court, but every constitutional institution has its own jurisdiction. The Speakers, Supreme Court and the high court have underlined this often, he added.

“I want to ask if we are working to weaken this institution,” he said.

He asked if the Rajasthan Assembly was subordinate to the Rajasthan High Court that it could “dictate” to the House.

“Will we go to the high court if we do not get an answer to our question? Can the assembly ask the high court to decide a case? When this assembly cannot ask the high court to decide a case then how can the high court dictate to this House?” Lodha continued.

“A senior member of the house has insulted seven crore people,” the MLA said while asking the Speaker for an inquiry into the matter.

Joshi said the powers of the legislature, executive and judiciary are defined in the Constitution.

He said he will think over the matter and then take a decision.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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