Legislative Assembly Current Affairs - 2020

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Supreme Court seeks immediate floor test from Madhya Pradesh State Government

On March 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of India issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh State Government to conduct a floor test. A bench headed by Justice Chandrachud issued the notice.

What is the issue?

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who lost 2019 election in Madya Pradesh ended his 18 years association with Congress party and joined BJP. Following this, 16 Members of the Legislative Assembly who won elections with congress ticket submitted their resignation letter to the speaker of the assembly. The assembly commenced for the budget session recently. The speaker accepted their resignation.

Now, there is a question of majority in the house for which when appealed by the MLAs to the SC, the apex court has ordered for a floor test.

Floor Test

The Floor test is conducted in order to prove majority of a government. The Chief Minister or Prime Minister moves vote of confidence. If he gains majority support, he continues to remain in power else he has to resign.

Scindia

The Scindia family ruled the princely state of Gwalior. Jivajirao Scindia (grandfather of Jyotiraditya Scindiya) was the last Maharaja of princely state of Gwalior. His son Madhavrao Scindia was a titular ruler. The 26th amendment of constitution abolished the official symbols of princely states in the country. This put an end to titles, privy purses and privileges enjoyed.

26th Constitutional Amendment

The 26th Constitutional amendment put an end to the privy purse in India. Privy purse was the payment made by the royal families of princely states to stay integrated with India after independence. At the time of independence there were 555 princely states covering 48% of the area and 28% of the population. The rulers were free to make choice in joining India or stay independent. It was Sardar Vallbhbhai Patel, who initiated unification of the princely states.

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Ranjan Gogoi, the former Chief Justice of India nominated to Rajya Sabha by the President

On March 16, 2020, the President of India Ramnath Kovind nominated the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha. The former chief justice retired in November, 2019.

Article 80-Clause (3)

Under Clause (3) of article 80, the President has powers to nominate persons with special knowledge to the council of states. Such person shall have special knowledge in science, art, literature and social service.

What is council of states?

Rajya Sabha is called the council of states. The Council of states of defined by Article 80 of the constitution. The council of states consists of 12 members that are nominated by the President of India.

Other Clauses of Article 80

Apart from 12 members nominated by the president, the council of states also consists of representative from the states. These representatives should not exceed more than 280 in numbers from the states and union territories.

The representatives are elected by the members of legislative assembly in the state.

History

During British rule, the Council of State was the upper house of the legislature of British India. It was created under Government of India Act, 1919. The Viceroy or Governor General was the ex officio President of the council.

The Government of India act, 1919 implemented Montagu-Chelmsford reforms.

Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

The reforms formed two houses namely Central legislative assembly and council of states. Also, the reforms introduced dual government system or dyarchy. The number of Indians in the Executive Council of Viceroy was increased from 3 to 8. A council of princes were set up. The Governor General was given powers to prorogue, summon and dissolve chambers and promulgate ordinances.

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