What is floor test? All you need to know about it amid political crisis in Maharashtra

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 05:36 PM IST
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Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray | Twitter/CMO

Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra following senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde's rebellion, party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday claimed of being in touch with 20 rebel MLAs who are camping in Assam's Guwahati. He also said that everyone will see when the floor test happens, adding that those who leave party under pressure from ED are not a real followers of Balasaheb Thackeray.

Besides, the approval by Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal to appoint Ajay Choudhari as Sena's group leader in the House in place of Shinde may expedite the need for the ruling coalition to prove its majority through a floor test.

Talking to news agency PTI, former Maharashtra advocate general Shrihari Aney said the group of rebel MLAs led by Shinde can assert that it doesn't support the present Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, and that the dispensation has lost the majority, which will result in a no confidence motion.

"The decision of the Assembly Deputy Speaker to approve the appointment of Choudhary as the Shiv Sena group leader in the House replacing Shinde may have a precipatory effect by hastening the process of a vote of no confidence," he said.

The Sena-led MVA government is likely to state that it has numbers to prove its majority and call for a trust vote, he said.

Aney said the process of a floor test will begin once it is completely established that the rebel group has the necessary numbers.

''Once it is established, it will indicate that the MVA has lost majority. The rebel group along with the BJP may stake claim to form the government, following which the Governor will ask for a floor test,'' he said.

What is a floor test?

A floor test is a motion through which the government seeks to know whether it still enjoys the confidence of the legislature.

In this procedure, a Chief Minister appointed by the Governor can be asked to prove majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of the state.

The Chief Minister has to move a vote of confidence and win a majority among those present and voting. The Chief Minister has to resign if the confidence motion fails to pass.

There is also another test called composite floor test. This is conducted only when more than one person stakes claim to form the government. The Governor may call for a special session to see who has the majority based on those present and voting.

Also, a pro-tem speaker is appointed ahead of the floor test. Usually, the longest-serving House member is nominated as pro-tem speaker, whose role is limited to administering oath to new MLAs and conducting the election of the full-time speaker.

What do the numbers say?

The Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA, has 54 MLAs as one of its legislators Ramesh Latke recently died, followed by allies NCP (53) and the Congress (44) in the 288-assembly where the current simple majority mark is 144.

The BJP has 106 MLAs of its own and is backed by one lawmaker each from the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, the Swabhimani Paksh, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, the Jan Surajya Party and six independents, taking its tally with allies to 116. However, the party managed to poll 123 votes in the Rajya Sabha election and 134 votes in the state council election.

Meanwhile, Shinde has claimed the support of 46 MLAs, 37 of which are from Shiv Sena.

(With PTI inputs)

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