What is a floor test and how will it affect the government of Madhya Pradesh today?

What is a floor test and how will it affect the government of Madhya Pradesh today?
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath during an interaction with media personnel at Women Press Club in New Delhi.Photo/Ravi Choudhary)(

  • Hours before the floor test today at 5 pm, MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath resigned from his position.
  • The Supreme Court had said that the floor test shall only be concluded by “show of hands”.
  • With 16 new resignations from MLAs, the assembly members from Congress have dropped down from 108 to 92.
A political battle is ensuing in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Hours before the floor test today at 5 pm, MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath resigned from his position.

“I have decided to give my resignation to the Governor today. I do not believe in horse trading. I believe in moral politics,” he said.

This is similar to the case of Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra who decided to quit before the floor test.

This came after the Supreme Court declared March 20 as the deadline for the Floor Test. "The session of the MP Assembly that has been deferred shall be reconvened on March 20. A single agenda for the Assembly — to hold a floor test on March 20 by show of hands," the court order said.

The proceedings of the test will be videographed and telecasted live.

The governor of Madhya Pradesh Lalji Tandon earlier said that the voting during the floor test shall only be conducted by raising hands and no other means.

While the BJP demanded an immediate floor test, the Congress government, presently ruling the state, said that the test should be postponed till the bypolls are concluded.

The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly constitutes 228 politicians presently — including 107 members from BJP. However, with 16 new resignations from MLAs, the count has dropped down from 108 to 92 for Congress. Before this, six ministers had resigned from the Congress.

Ahead of the budget session on March 16, BJP legislators from MP — who were staying in Gurugram for five days — reached Bhopal in wee hours of the day, around 2 pm, IANS reported.

On March 11, Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His resignation triggered resignations from 22 other MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, pushing it into a full-blown crisis.

Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan of BJP said that the Assembly Speaker will act as per the state government's decisions.

"The Madhya Pradesh government has lost its majority. That is why they are running away from it. We will ask the government to bring a confidence motion tomorrow (Monday). The chief minister has said he wants a floor test. Then why is he not doing it? Our only demand is a floor test," Chouhan told ANI.

Yesterday, CM Nath claimed that nine BJP MLAs will support Congress during the floor test of the Assembly.

The meaning of a floor test

A floor test is a motion initiated by the government 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’s floor.

How is a floor test conducted?

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. If the floor test fails, the chief minister will have to resign. The whole idea of a floor test is incorporated in the constitution of India to ensure transparency in the constitutional process.

Last year, the Karnataka government underwent a floor test where the government led by Janata Party (Secular)’s HD Kumaraswamy was toppled by BJP led B S Yediyurappa.

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