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Floor Test: The Double Standards of Congress Party

Karnataka Floor Test

The country is currently witnessing a high political drama going on in Karnataka where the fate of a Congress-led coalition government is at stake. Here are some similar instances in the past and the reaction of Congress party towards a non-Congress party when it comes to the floor test.

On Supreme Court Order in Similar Situation

Congress and its allies are crying foul over Supreme Court’s order that has exempted rebel MLAs of Congress and JD(S) from mandatorily taking part in the floor test. It has termed the SC judgement as ‘bad’. Congress fears that if the rebel MLAs don’t take part in the voting, the coalition government in Karnataka may fall.

But the same Congress did not have any problem with the Supreme Court’s judgement in Uttarakhand floor test in 2016 when SC barred rebel MLAs (disqualified) of Congress from voting. Because then their participation may have resulted in fall of the Congress government in Uttarakhand.

So, if debarring MLAs from voting helps in passing the floor test, it is okay, but, if exempting MLAs from the voting weakens the case of Congress, it is a ‘bad judgement’.

Congress Vs BJP – Difference of Time to Prove Majority

When BJP emerged as the single largest party, short of the majority mark, in the Karnataka assembly elections (2018), the Supreme Court had given 24 hours of time to BJP to prove its majority.

But, in current Karnataka crisis, the 15 MLAs from both Congress and JDS have resigned and at least 13 of whom have been reported to have resigned on July 06, 2019. The fact that the floor test has still not happened means that a minority government of a post-poll coalition where the parties had fought the election against each other, has continued for almost 3 weeks now.

Further, the delaying tactics of Speaker were widely reported by some sections of media.

It is to be further noted that after a scheduled trust vote on July 18, it is still being debated and discussed for last 5 days and there has been no trust vote yet. Governance in the state has come to a standstill and left without a stable leadership. The Governor’s directives have already been undermined by the Congress-JD(S) government. It now appears that Congress-JD(S) alliance was merely buying time, probably to get their MLAs back, before they actually go for the trust vote.

And, this is not the first time that Congress has got enough time to prove its majority. In an earlier case of Goa, the time given to Congress was 30 days.