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Floor test UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • Haryana is in political turmoil after three independent MLAs withdrew their support to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and its former coalition partner, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), offered support to the Congress to form an alternative government. 

  • In the 90-member State Assembly, which currently has an effective strength of 88, the BJP government led by Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini appears to be in a minority with 43 MLAs by its side — it needs 45 for a majority. 

  • But BJP leaders assert that their government is under ‘no threat’ and if there be any need, ‘other MLAs’ will support them — an indicator of support from disgruntled MLAs of the JJP. 

  • The Congress and the JJP have come out all guns blazing at the BJP, but appear to be moving with a guarded approach by putting the onus to initiate the process of bringing down the incumbent government on each other. 

  • Both parties have asked Governor Bandaru Dattatreya to intervene

  • While the Congress has demanded immediate Assembly polls under President’s rule, the JJP has asked the Governor to seek an immediate ‘floor test’ to determine the majority of the incumbent government in the Legislative Assembly.

  • The Congress and the JJP are trying to consolidate their base in the midst of the general election and in the run-up to the Assembly election, which is due to be held in normal course in October. 

  • At least two of the 10 JJP MLAs have declared their support to BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, and it is getting hard for the JJP to keep its flock together. 

  • After parting ways with the BJP, the JJP, which draws its support largely from the agrarian class, primarily the Jat community, has upped the ante against its former partner. 

  • In March this year, when the BJP replaced Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar with Nayab Singh Saini, it indicated the party’s strategy to sharpen its caste-based politics pivoting towards the non-Jat constituency

  • Haryana witnessed a violent pro-Jat quota stir in the year 2016 and the agitation left Jats and non-Jats pitted against each other, straining inter-community relations. 

  • The Congress appears to be channelising its energy to form the next government for a full term of five years, instead of focusing on any possibility of a short-term gain. 

  • The political turmoil has cast a long shadow of doubt on the Saini government’s legislative majority

  • The Governor should take appropriate measures to clear the doubts regarding the numbers.

What is a Floor Test?

  • It is a term used for the test of the majority

  • If there are doubts against the Chief Minister (CM) of a State, he/she can be asked to prove the majority in the House.

  • In the case of a coalition government, the CM may be asked to move a vote of confidence and win a majority.

  • In the absence of a clear majority, when there is more than one individual stake to form the government, the Governor may call for a special session to see who has the majority to form the government.

  • Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote. 

  • The numbers are then considered based only on those MLAs who were present to vote.


How can the Governor Call for a Floor Test?

  • Article 174 of the Constitution authorizes the Governor to summon, dissolve and prorogue the state legislative assembly.

  • Article 174(2)(b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet

  • However, the Governor can apply his mind when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt.

  • According to Article 175(2), the Governor can summon the House and call for a floor test to prove whether the government has the numbers.

  • However, the Governor can exercise the above only as per Article 163 of the Constitution which says that the Governor acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister.

  • When the House is in session, it is the Speaker who can call for a floor test

  • But when the Assembly is not in session, the Governor’s residuary powers under Article 163 allow him to call for a floor test.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Floor test UPSC NOTE
Floor test UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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