Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 88

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: State Government and Administration)

(Current Based) Question: Comment on governor's 'subjective judgment' when there is no clear majority to a single political party. (15 Marks/250 Words)

Model Answer:

The Constitution of India empowers the governor to appoint chief minister but it remains silent on the issue of his\her role in case of a fractured mandate, it’s entirely the governor’s discretion whom to call for government formation in that case.
The governor is, however, expected to be guided by his assessment of who is likely to command majority support in the House. So, he is expected to appoint only that person as chief minister who in his opinion is likely to command majority support.

S.R. Bommai judgment clearly says that the strength of the parties must be decided on the floor of the House and not at the Governor’s house.

The Sarkaria Commission, clearly says if there is no single party having an absolute majority in the Assembly, the governor should select a chief minister from among the following parties or group of parties by sounding them, in turn, in the order of preference indicated below:

1. An alliance of parties that was formed prior to the elections;

2. The largest single party staking a claim to form the government with the support of others, including “independents”;

In this context, the ideal way ahead is for the Governor to immediately convene the Assembly session, appoint a protem speaker, administer oath for all the elected members, before asking both the contenders to prove their majority on the floor of the House. Whoever wins the confidence vote should be sworn in as Chief Minister. (Total Words- 243)

Valuable inputs from The Times of India News: ‘Karnataka election results: It's now over to governor's 'subjective judgment' by Vishwa Mohan

(Linkages: Role of Governor and Fractured Mandate, Governor’s Subjective Judgement and Government Formation, Discretionary Powers of Governor and Sarkaria Commission Suggestion )

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