Maharashtra [MPSC] Current Affairs - 2019

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Fadnavis sworn in as Maharashtra CM: SC’s concept of fast Floor Tests

On November 23, 2019, Mr Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The governor has given him time till November 30, 2019 to prove his majority. This contradicts Supreme Court’s orders that were passed in last two decades.

The Supreme Court in its previous judgements have pronounced that floor tests should follow within 24 to 48 hours of swearing-in. This is because, it will increase risks of horse trading and corruption.

S R Bommai Case

The concept of floor test was introduced by the SC’s judgement in 1994 in SR Bommai case. SC referred to Article 164 of the constitution. SC interprets the article’s words “Council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the state” as the ultimate test of majority is not held in Raj Bhavan but on the floors of the assembly.

Previous SC Judgements

In 2018, SC ordered a floor test within 24 hours after BJP leader Mr Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the CM of Karnataka.

In 2005, SC ordered an immediate floor test to see which of the political alliances has majority in the house of Jharkhand

In 1998, SC ordered for a floor test to be held within 48 hours to determine majority in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.

President’s rule imposed in Maharashtra

Due to a stalemate over government formation after assembly polls in the state of Maharashtra, President’s rule was imposed. The rule was imposed according to Article 356(1)

President’s rule has been imposed in the state for the third time in its history since its formation in 1960.

Article 356(1)

If the President receives a report from the governor of the state and is satisfied that a situation has arisen where the State Government cannot preside its duties according to the provisions of the constitution, he may by Proclamation

  • Assume to himself the functions of the State Government
  • May vest certain powers on the Governor or other body or authority other than the State Legislature
  • Declare that the powers of the State Legislature is exercisable under the authority of the Parliament

Previous President’s Rules

  • The first President rule was declared in the state in 1980. This is was because the then PM Smt Indira Gandhi dismissed the PDF (Progressive Democratic Front) headed by Sharad Pawar.
  • The second President’s rule was imposed in 2014 when Prithvi Raj Chavan resigned as Chief Minister losing support from an ally NCP.

Though there has been President’s rule due to political reasons in the state, this is the first time, President rule is imposed due to inability of the political parties to form a government.