BS Yeddyurappa faces floor test in Karnataka Assembly : What is a floor test and how is it conducted?

The Supreme Court has ordered that the floor test be held in the Karnataka Assembly on Saturday at 4 pm. This means that BS Yeddyurappa, who took oath as the chief minister on Thursday, will have to prove that he has the support of more than 112 Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Prior to the Supreme Court decision, Governor Vajubhai Vala had given 15 days to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority in the Karnataka Assembly. The Supreme Court fixed Saturday for the floor test and said that the vote should not be taken through the secret ballot method. But what do these terms mean?

There are a floor tests of two kinds, one being the simple one and another a composite floor test. The category that a particular floor test would fall under depends on the situation.

File image of BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa. AP

File image of BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa. AP

What is a floor test? 

If there are doubts against the chief minister, the governor can ask him to prove his majority in the House of the Assembly. In case of a coalition government, the chief minister may be asked to move a vote of confidence and win a majority.

What is composite floor test?

In the absence of a clear majority, when there is more than one individual staking claim to form the government, the governor may call for a special session to see who has the majority to form the government. Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote. The numbers are then considered based only on those MLAs who were present to vote.

There are modes of voting for the floor test to be held: voice vote and division vote.

Voice vote and division vote

As the name suggests, in a voice vote, the legislators have to cast their vote by submitting their response orally.

In division vote, the voting is cast with the help of electronic gadgets, slips or in a ballot box. Ballot box is usually a secret voting - just like how people vote during state or parliamentary elections. The person who has the majority will be allowed to form the government. The Speaker can cast his vote on the occasion of a tie.

It is the Speaker who decides whether the floor test should be conducted via a voice vote or some other method. After the MLAs are given the oath of office by the pro tem Speaker on Saturday, a permanent Speaker will likely be elected by the legislators.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 08:10 AM

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