Chapter

The Options When a Government Loses its Majority<sup>1</sup>

A.G. Noorani

in CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTS

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678291
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080588 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.003.0011
The Options When a Government Loses its Majority1

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This chapter addresses constitutional questions that arose in the aftermath of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) withdrawal of support to the National Front on 23 October 1990. There were four distinct issues. First, was Prime Minister V. P. Singh bound to resign from office soon after the BJP withdrew its support, or was he entitled to secure a verdict on his stewardship from the Lok Sabha? Second, if his motion of confidence is defeated in the Lok Sabha, is he entitled to dissolve the Lok Sabha in favour of a verdict of the people? What are the powers and duties of the president in such a situation? Third, is the president bound, in that event, to ask the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, the Congress(I), to form a government? Last, if the Congress(I), on being so asked, fails to drum up a majority and asks for the Lok Sabha's dissolution, is the president bound to grant it?

Keywords: Bharatiya Janata Party; constitutional questions; Prime Minister V. P. Singh; Lok Sabha

Chapter.  1451 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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