Jaipur | Jagran News Desk: In a huge relief to former Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot, the High Court on Friday asked the Assembly Speaker to hold off on action against 19 MLAs who were issued disqualification notices. Deferring any action against the rebel MLAs by the Speaker till Tuesday evening, the High Court also announced that it will now hear the matter on Monday. 

The High Court’s interim order by a divisional bench that included state Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta comes before the deadline that was set by the Speaker for responding to the notice that was to expire.

The High Court has also asked Rajasthan Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi, who had filed the complaint before the Speaker, to respond to the dissidents' petition by Saturday. 

Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi had issued a disqualification notice to Sachin Pilot and 18 rebel MLAs based on the complaint made by the Congress. The Congress in their complaint had said that the MLAs had defied a whip and skipped the Congress Legislature Party meetings on Monday and Tuesday. The party had also sought action against Pilot and the rebel 18 MLAs under paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

The rebel MLAs, however, on Thursday challenged the disqualification notice, saying that Sachin Pilot never indicated any intention to leave the party. They also argue that they cannot be served such notices when the “Rajasthan Assembly is not in session”.

Congress accuses BJP of trying to topple Gehlot govt

The Congress on Friday also accused the BJP of trying to topple its government in Rajasthan and has alleged horse-trading with a purported audio sting. The party has also suspended MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from the primary membership of the Congress. 

The party has also asked Sachin Pilot to come forward and make his stand public on the allegations of providing MLAs' list to the BJP.

“Two audiotapes surfaced last night on the so-called conversation of union minister Gajendra Singh, Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma and BJP leader Sanjay Jain. The conspiracy to topple the Congress government is clear through the so-called conversation. This is a black chapter in the history of democracy,” news agency PTI quoted Congress’ Randeep Singh Surjewala as saying. 

BJP hits back at Congress, says ‘ready for probe’ 

The BJP, however, has said that the Congress is attempting the "character assassination" of its leaders. The saffron party has said that Ashok Gehlot’s residence has become a centre of fake audio, adding that attempts have been made to drag central ministers in the matter.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat also rejected the Congress' allegation based on some audio clips, saying that he is ready to face investigation. He further said that it was not his voice in the purported audio clip being shared by the Congress.

"This is not my voice... Let there be an investigation. I am ready to face any probe," the senior BJP leader said. Later, he also tweeted a Sanskrit saying that means "where there is dharma (righteousness), there is victory".

What are the audio clips released by the Congress?

On Thursday, the Congress had released three audio clips purporting to be of "horse-trading" discussions between Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and an MLA of Sachin Pilot's camp. The BJP, however, has dismissed the audio clips cited by the Congress as “manufactured”.

About Rajasthan Political Turmoil:

Rajasthan Congress continues to remain in turmoil after simmering differences between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot came out in the open. Pilot was, on July 14, also sacked from the posts of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and state PCC president after he rebelled against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma