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Floor test in Bihar Assembly  

GS  Paper 2

Syllabus: Parliament and state legislature: structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers and privileges.


Source: The Hindu

Direction: Read the article for understanding the parliamentary proceedings. No need to make note.

Context: In Bihar Nitish Kumar–led Mahagathbandhan government won the floor test in the State Assembly to prove majority. Mr. Kumar proved his majority first by voice vote and then by counting of votes.


What is a floor test?

  • A floor test is primarily taken to know whether the executive enjoys the confidence of the legislature by proving his majority


How it takes place?

This voting process occur in the state’s Legislative Assembly or the Lok Sabha at the central level.

  • As per the Constitution, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor of the state.
  • In case the majority is questioned, the leader of the party which claims majority has to move a vote of confidence and prove majority among those present and voting.
  • The Chief Minister has to resign if they fail to prove their majority in the house.
  • This happens both in the parliament and the state legislative


What is a composite floor test?

Composite floor test is necessitated when more than one person stakes the claim to form the government and the majority is not clear.

  • Governor may call a special session to assess who has the majority. The majority is counted based on those present and voting and this can be done through voice vote also.


How is the voting done?

These are the modes by which voting can be conducted:

  1. Voice vote: In a voice vote, the legislators respond orally.
  2. Division vote: In case of a division vote, voting is done using electronic gadgets, slips or in a ballot box.
  3. Ballot vote: Ballot box is usually a secret vote – just like how people vote during state or parliamentary elections.


What happens if there is a tie?

Following the vote, the person who has the majority will be allowed to form the government. In case there is a tie, the speaker can cast his vote.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Floor test vs Composite floor test.
  2. Majority required to form the govt.
  3. Voting during floor test.
  4. Appointment of Chief Minister when there is clear majority vs Hung assembly.
  5. Can speaker cast his vote?

Mains Link:

  1. Ambiguity in the law on conducting floor tests often lead to abuses and misuses. Comment.