The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government moved a confidence motion in the Rajasthan Assembly during the session that began today to counter BJP's no-confidence motion.
The session comes days after the top leadership of the Congress announced the return of Sachin Gehlot and 18 other dissident MLAs to the party-fold.
Catch All The Live Updates Here:
4:07 PM: Ashok Gehlot wins confidence motion with voice vote.
3:44 PM: "People question why I have allowed Vasundhara Raje to stay in her official accommodation. I have always worked like this. I know the importance of being respectful in politics. When Bhairon Singh ji lost power and I became CM, I went to him and assured him of every cooperation. This is what politics should be like. I am sad to see that today being good to rivals is considered a bad thing," Gehlot says.
3:42 PM: "I know some of you in the BJP were opposed to this conspiracy. I hope you (Kataria) were too...," Gehlot says.
3:39 PM: "I am 69 years old. I have been in politics for 50 years. I have been a Union minister, chief minister because of this democracy. I am worried for this democracy. Why are you not?" Gehlot responds to Kataria.
3:36 PM: "Kataria says his party was not involved in trying to destabilize our government. The problem is he is bitter about not being taken into confidence by his own party and colleagues who wanted to topple our government and come to power. Kataria knows his party's style - who they want to sideline, who they want to promote," Gehlot says.
3:34 PM: "The BJP says we have not done any work. It says our handling of corona is poor. I reject their charge. The PM praised us, experts have praised us. Everyone spoke about the Bhilwara model. Did I tell Modi to praise us or did he do it on his own?" Ashok Gehlot says.
3::31 PM: "CM keeps accusing BJP of trying to topple his government. I dare him to prove his allegation," Kataria says.
3:08 PM: Uproar in the House as Kataria says, "Yeh Mahatma Gandhi ki dukaandari zindagi bhar nahi chalne wali." Congress demands apology.
Speaker CP Joshi says he will end the debate if the House is not in order
3:06 PM: Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria says, "if we wanted to topple the government, we would have brought a no confidence motion. The crisis is of their own making."
He adds, "The young man who helped the party come to power after being reduced to 21 seats has suddenly become nakara and nikamma."
3:05 PM: CPM MLA Balwan Punia says, "I support the confidence motion. I want the government to stay focused on its work and not get distracted by efforts to destabilise it."
2:50 PM: Garg has concluded and BJP MLA Kiran Maheshwari starts speaking.
"This government is talking of confidence motion, but they don't have confidence in their own members. They kept their MLAs in a resort for 34 days. Their women MLAs were learning Italian dishes in Fairmont so they can please their Italian party president," Maheshwari says.
2:43 PM: Garg further says: "They are asking why we were all staying together at a resort. The answer is simple. When there is a threat, it is our collective duty to keep the government safe. We were in hotel but we ran the government. You don't have respect for your CM, at least have respect for your PM. It is your PM who praised Ashok Gehlot's government for its handling of the coronavirus crisis."
2:40 PM: Senior Congress MLA and minister Subhash Garg, responding to the debate, says, "These people accused us that our CM and Deputy CM were not talking. They should look within. Have the BJP president, LoP and Dy LoP spoken to their former CM, Vasundhara Raje, in the past year. Did they take her into confidence before initiating this conspiracy?"
2:24 PM: "You are accusing us of horse-trading. What did you do with BSP MLAs? Hum par horse trading ka aarop lagate ho, aap toh poore ke poore hathi gatak gaye," Poonia says attacking the Congress in the Assembly.
2:20 PM: Lodha concludes and BJP state chief and MLA Satish Poonia makes his intervention.
"I oppose the confidence motion even if it succeeds. This is perhaps for the first time anywhere in the world, that an elected government has worked from a resort for over a month and that too when the state was battling a health pandemic and other problems," Poonia said.
2:15 PM: "What was the need for this confidence motion? We realised the plot of the BJP when despite not having the legislative strength to ensure victory, they fielded two candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls. An alert Gehlot realised what you all were trying to do and defeated your designs during the RS polls and will defeat you again today," Sanyam Lodha said.
"The BJP has used every single trick in the book to topple our govt. Money, muscle, allurements, ED, CBI, threats of all kinds. Do you people have no shame? Do you have no concern for democracy? Your own MLAs did not even shy away from claiming that Vasundhara Raje was trying to save the Gehlot government. Have some respect for her; you people served as ministers under her and now you want to defame her. If Raje was helping us, you would be left with just 30 MLAs out of your 72," Lodha said training his gun on the BJP.
2:00 PM: Independent MLA Sanyam Lodha intervenes in the debate. Lodha says Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya used to oppose ideological and political turncoats. "Today, BJP talks of Upadhyay but does exactly the opposite of what he preached... Today elections have lost their value. Irrespective of which party wins, BJP wants to come to power. Briefcases and suitcases are always ready. Let me tell them, Rajasthan will not fall prey to this; we are 123, we will stay in power and complete our term. We will continue to work for the people," he says.
1:56 PM: Sachin Pilot intervenes. Pilot says his seat has been changed as he was earlier sitting in the House where ministers, under protection of protocols and government, sit. Now he is seated as a regular MLA whose duty is to fight for his government.
"Those who are raising questions about what happened in the past month, I want to tell them -- we raised our issues within our family, we sorted it out between ourselves. I am committed to fighting, even on the streets, to protect our government," the former Deputy CM says.
1:53 PM: Rajendra Rathore questions the Congress on keeping its MLAs at resorts. Parliamentary Affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal hits back at Rathore asking if BJP MLAs who went to a resort in Gujarat went there to perform 'Rasleela'.
1:51 PM: "The state is facing one problem after the other. Corona crisis, locusts, rising crime, financial problems, loan burden on farmers but the government is busy with its own problems," says Deputy Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore. "From the day these people came to power, they have been fighting among themselves. The CM is on record saying that for 18 months he had not spoken to his deputy. A government that has split down the middle is now accusing us of trying to topple it," Rathore added.
1:49 PM: "The peace brokered was not at the CM's behest but at his high command's. It will not last," says Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore.
1:45 PM: BJP fields Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore to initiate debate in the Assembly. Rathore says, "for over a month, the people of Rajasthan have been watching this political circus helplessly. The people are suffering because of the Congress government's infighting."
1:32 PM: Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal concludes his speech in the Assembly and says he is confident of his government's majority.
1:30 PM: "In Rajasthan, BJP has decided to push second rung leaders to the front instead of staying with their popular leaders. Ab yeh toh fail honge hi (They are bound to fail)," Dhariwal says.
1:29 PM: "These people have no respect for constitution or constitutional office. These are people who wake up the President in the wee hours and tell him to withdraw President's Rule in Maharashtra so that Fadnavis can be sworn in. The day Fadnavis resigned, chota bhai and Mota bhai should have resigned too but these people have no self-respect, no regard for proprietary. They will cling on to office," says Congress's Dhariwal.
1:23 PM: Ashok Gehlot taught BJP a lesson, says Dhariwal in Rajasthan Assembly.
1:21 PM: "BJP's own house is not in order and they accuse us of infighting. Three leaders in BJP were competing to become CM while their former CM was keeping silent. Now Amit Shah will ask them, itna paisa kharch kar diya, ab hisaab toh de do," Dhariwal says.
1:17 PM: "BJP's lust for power is unending. It can't stand a defeat. It uses money and muscle to subvert democracy; form government by buying MLAs even if it loses the election. They did this in MP, Karnataka, Manipur, Goa but their campaign to end democracy has finally been defeated in Rajasthan," says Dhariwal.
1:07 PM: Assembly has reconvened. Parliamentary Affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal moves motion of confidence.
12:28 PM: Session will reconvene at 1pm. Business Advisory Committee of the Assembly to meet at 3 PM to discuss agenda for the Assembly session.
12:27 PM: Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi has given notice to Speaker Mahesh Joshi on behalf of the government seeking a floor test.
12:26 PM: BJP will not move no-confidence motion against Gehlot government.
11:25 AM: Assembly session has been adjourned till 1 pm.
11:11 AM: "We are bringing a vote of confidence, it always comes first. We have a big majority," says Rajasthan Minister Shanti Dhariwal.
11:10 AM: Rajasthan Assembly session begins.
11:02 AM: "As the Legislative Assembly session begins today, It would be the victory of the people of #Rajasthan and the unity of our Congress MLAs, it would be a victory of truth: Satyamev Jayate," Gehlot tweets.
As the Legislative Assembly session begins today, It would be the victory of the people of #Rajasthan and the unity of our Congress MLAs, it would be a victory of truth: Satyamev Jayate.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 14, 2020
10:30 AM: Even though the Congress party has brokered an understanding between Gehlot and Pilot factions for now, there are various challenges that lie ahead for smooth functioning of the government in Rajasthan. Read Here: Why Truce Between Gehlot And Pilot Stands On Fragile Ground
8:56 AM: The Congress on Thursday revoked the suspension of Bhanwarlal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh, two MLAs who had rebelled against the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan.
8:52 AM: Sachin Pilot shook hands on Thursday with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the image marking the patch-up between the two party factions in the state ahead of the assembly session where the Congress government is set to face a floor test.
8:49 AM: The Rajasthan High Court will hear today the petitions filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar and the BSP challenging the merger of six MLAs with the Congress.
8:43 AM: The assembly session comes days after the top leadership of the Congress announced the return of Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs to the party-fold.
8::40 AM: "We could have proved the majority even without Sachin Pilot and his loyalists but it would not have given us happiness. We will bring Vote of Confidence," said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at CLP meeting on Thursday.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine