NEWDELHI: Congress MLAs from Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s camp were Friday moved to Jaisalmer after he claimed that the horse-trading rates have gone up in the state following the announcement of Assembly session. The MLAs have been staying in a Kukas five-star hotel in the outskirts of Jaipur since the revolt by former deputy CM Sachin Pilot against his boss Ashok Gehlot.
The move to shift MLAs to Jaisalmer, a popular tourist destination surrounded by desert came a day after Gehlot alleged that the horse-trading rates have gone up after the announcement of Assembly session from August 14.
“After the Assembly session was announced last night, the rates of horse-trading have increased. Earlier, the first installment was of Rs 10 crore, and the second was of Rs 15 crore. Now it has become unlimited and all know who is doing horse-trading,” Gehlot told reporters on Thursday.
Following Pilot’s revolt with 18 other MLAs, the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan reduced to a wafer-thin majority in the 200-member Legislative Assembly. Minus Pilot and his loyalists, Gehlot has the support of 102 MLAs, just one more than the majority mark of 101.
Gehlot is eager to prove his majority in the Assembly as he fears more MLAs can be broken ahead of the Assembly session. Gehlot has accused his former deputy of playing into the hands of the BJP and conspiring to topple his government. Both Pilot and the BJP has rejected the accusations.
With Rajasthan High Court restraining Speaker from initiating a disqualification process against the rebel Congress MLAs, Gehlot’s hopes to save the government depend on a floor test as soon as possible. If the Rajasthan High Court rules in favour of Speaker and Pilot and 18 other MLAs are disqualified, the majority mark will come down.