A political battle in MP & Floor Test

  • Category
    Indian Polity
  • Published
    25th Mar, 2020

The Supreme Court is slated to hear a plea filed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, which has sought directions to the Kamal Nath government to undertake a floor test in the state Assembly.

Context

The Supreme Court is slated to hear a plea filed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, which has sought directions to the Kamal Nath government to undertake a floor test in the state Assembly as directed by Governor Lalji Tandon.

About

  • A floor test is a constitutional mechanism used to determine if the incumbent government enjoys the support of the legislature.
  • A floor test can be explained as a motion initiated by the government in position seeking to know if it enjoys the confidence of the legislature.
  • As part of this procedure, the Chief Minister appointed by the governor will be asked to prove majority on the Legislative Assembly floor.

    What is a composite floor test?

    • If there is more than one person staking claim to form the government and the majority is not clear, the governor may call for a special session to see who has the majority.
    • Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote. In such a case, the majority is countedbased on those present and voting.

    The procedure:

    • The whole idea of floor test is incorporated in the Constitution of India to ensure transparency in the constitutional process.
    • The voting takes place in the Legislative Assembly or the Lok Sabha at the central level.
    • When a floor test is called for in the assembly of a state, the Chief Minister will move a vote of confidence and prove that he has the majority support.
      • A confidence motion or a vote of confidence or a trust vote is sought by the government in power on the floor of the House.
      • A trust vote or confidence motion has to be moved by an MLA or an MP, and the objective is to find out whether the chief minister has the ‘trust’ or ‘confidence’ of the House.
    • If the floor test fails, the CM needs to give his/her resignation.

    Modes of Voting:

    • These are the modes by which voting can be conducted:
      • Voice vote:In a voice vote, the legislators respond orally.
      • Division vote:In case of a division vote, voting is done using electronic gadgets, slips or in a ballot box.
      • Ballot vote:Ballot box is usually a secret vote - just like how people vote during state or parliamentary elections.

     

    The plea:

    • The plea directs the Speaker, CM and principal secretary of the Assembly to hold a floor test "within 12 hours of the passing of the order by this court and as per directions issued by the Governor".
    • The state of Madhya Pradesh plunged into a political crisis after Jyotiraditya Scindia, a senior Congress leader, resigned from the party to join the BJP.
    • Scindia’s decision to leave the Congress was followed by the resignation of 22 party MLAs loyal to him.
    • Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon directed Kamal Nath (CM) to seek trust vote after the 22 legislators of the Congress party submitted their resignations last week.
    • The BJP claims the Congress, which had 114 MLAs in the House with an effective strength of 228, has been reduced to a minority government following the resignation of 22 of its legislators.
    • The opposition party has 107 legislators. There are two MLAs from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), one from the Samajwadi Party (SP), and four Independents who support the Kamal Nath government.
    • Speaker NP Prajapati had accepted the resignations of six ministers on Saturday. With this, the strength of the House has come down to 222 and the majority mark is now 112.
    • The resignations of 16 other MLAs have not been accepted so far.

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