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Jury’s out on composite floor test to choose between Palanisamy and Panneerselvam

With the controversy surrounding the current impasse in State yet to abate, the suggestions of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to call for a composite floor test to end the deadlock ran into controvers

Published: 16th February 2017 02:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2017 12:39 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

With the controversy surrounding the current impasse in State yet to abate, the suggestions of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to call for a composite floor test to end the deadlock ran into controversy. Here’s what it is all about

When was the composite floor test first introduced?

It was a Supreme Court innovation in 1998 to resolve a tussle after Kalyan Singh govt (BJP) was toppled and Jagadambika Pal (Congress) was made the CM. Each MLA in the UP House was given a ballot paper to indicate their preference and append their signature. Pal lost by 29 votes. He was the CM for just three days. Pal now is a BJP MP.

Can it be applied to TN?

While in UP, it was between two parties, BJP and Cong, in TN, it is between two factions of the AIADMK. The jury is out on whether composite test will work here.

Will the opposition too vote to pick their CM? 

They will get the right to vote. That is how it happened in UP.

Would it be secret ballot? 

The vote can either be orally, secret, ballot or electronic.

What if the entire opposition, including the DMK, abstains and neither faction has simple majority?

The Governor could give DMK a shot at govt formation or order fresh polls and invoke Central rule in the interregnum. He could also place the House in suspended animation hoping one AIADMK faction would muster the numbers at a later date.

Was composite test ordered elsewhere? 

In Jharkhand in 2005 when Arjun Munda (BJP) challenged govt formation by Shibu Soren (JMM). Soren resigned before the test.

Is there a contra view?

Another SC bench comprising justices A K Mathur and Markandey Katju trashed the composite tests, saying they snapped the fine thread that separated the legislature, executive and judiciary.

How is it different from a floor test?

If the Assembly strength of a govt is in question, the chief minister can move a confidence motion in the House, and prove his majority. The vote is for or against one candidate, not two, as in the case of a composite vote.



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