Floor test Explained

Context

  • The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a plea filed for an immediate floor test in Karnataka Assembly.

What is a floor test?

  • A floor test is primarily taken to know whether the executive enjoys the confidence of the legislature.
  • It is a constitutional mechanism under which a Chief Minister appointed by the Governor can be asked to prove majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of the state.
  • As per the Constitution, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor of the state.
  • When a single party secures the majority of the seats in the house, the Governor appoints the leader of the party as the Chief Minister.
  • In case the majority is questioned, the leader of the party which claims majority has to move a vote of confidence and prove majority among those present and voting.
  • The Chief Minister has to resign if they fail to prove their majority in the house. This happens both in the parliament and the state legislative assemblies.
  • In situations when there are differences within a coalition government, the Governor can ask the Chief Minister to prove majority in the house.

What is composite floor test?

  • There is another test, Composite Floor Test, which is conducted only when more than one person stakes claim to form the government.
  • When the majority is not clear, the governor might call for a special session to see who has the majority.
  • The majority is counted based on those present and voting. This can also be done through a voice vote where the member can respond orally or through division voting.
  • Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote.
  • In division vote, voting can be done through electronic gadgets, ballots or slips.
  • The person who has the majority will form the government. In case of tie, the speaker can also cast his vote.

Governors’ discretion

  • When no party gets a clear majority, the governor can use his discretion in the selection of chief ministerial candidate to prove the majority as soon as possible.

Source:IE