🔴 Currently, the state has 30 ministers, including Gehlot — the maximum possible for Rajasthan as per the rule limiting the number to 15 per cent of the Assembly strength.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra has sought a report from the state government over the recent appointment of advisors to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, with the BJP calling them unconstitutional.

The Governor has forwarded a memorandum submitted by Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore to the Chief Secretary seeking a report on the appointments, Raj Bhawan sources said.

Rathore wrote to Mishra on November 22, seeking dismissal of the newly appointed advisors and a ban on the government appointing parliamentary secretaries.

Following the recent reshuffle of his Cabinet, in which he accommodated several loyalists of his rival Sachin Pilot, Gehlot had appointed six MLAs as CM advisors, while about 15 parliamentary secretaries are to be picked soon. Rathore said the MLAs were occupying offices of profit against parliamentary procedure.

Currently, the state has 30 ministers, including Gehlot — the maximum possible for Rajasthan as per the rule limiting the number to 15 per cent of the Assembly strength. Rathore said that by accommodating more MLAs as either advisor or parliamentary secretaries, Gehlot was crossing that limit. The six advisors are on a par with the rank of a minister, and the parliamentary secretaries would enjoy the
same privilege, Rathore said.

The BJP leader cited Articles 164 (1A), 191 (1) (A) and 246 of the Constitution, a Supreme Court judgment, as well as verdicts of the High Courts of Sikkim, Hyderabad, Bombay, Himachal Pradesh, etc, “which have clarified the appointments of parliamentary secretaries and the office of profit (Advisor to CM)”, he said in the letter. Various high courts have dismissed such appointments as illegal, Rathore wrote. He said the Gehlot government had been facing internal protests “and to quell the rebellion, it is trying to satisfy the disgruntled MLAs by giving away legal and illegal posts”.

Incidentally, the BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje that preceded Gehlot’s had at least 10 parliamentary secretaries.

Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra said Rathore was “unnecessarily making a political issue”, noting that Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria and BJP state chief Satish Poonia had not raised the issue. Accusing Rathore of trying to seek personal political mileage, Dotasra said: “Whatever has been done has been done lawfully.”

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