In Tamil Nadu, either O Panneerselvam or V K Sasikala may stake claim to form the government. The one who can bring the maximum number of members of the legislative assembly together can form the government in a process called a ‘floor test’. As aspirants preparing for competitive exams, it is important to understand the constitutional provisions and possible solutions to such a crisis.
A ‘floor test’ is called in the state assembly when no party has a clear majority. No majority means there is no government. In the absence of a government in a state, the Governor of a state can recommend President’s Rule under Article 356. The Governor represents the President in the state.
There is also a composite floor test which may happen in case multiple people claim a stake for the government. Here, the Governor may call a special session to see which claimant proves majority. The majority is counted for those members who are present and voting.
The voting can be conducted orally or through a secret ballot box. The one who can prove majority forms the government. In case there is a tie, the speaker casts his / her vote.
Such situations have occurred in other states like Maharashtra. In 1995, neither Congress nor Shiv Sena-BJP alliance secured a majority. The then Governor, P C Alexander called the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance to form the government because it was a pre-election alliance. The alliance proved its majority with help from independent candidates and formed the government.
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