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Governors Agree On Time Limit For Confidence Vote


There was a broad convergence of opinion among Governors that a time limit should be set for a vote of confidence to be taken by a political party on the floor of legislative assembly or Parliament.

The two-day conference of Governors convened by President Shanker Dayal Sharma which concluded on Tuesday felt that the period within which this should be done should be as brief as reasonably feasible.

The conference which deliberated on the role of the constitutional head, when, following an election, no party or combination of parties appears to have secured a majority, was also attended by leaders of political parties.

It was felt that a council of ministers installed on the basis of a post-electoral alliance should be required to seek a vote of confidence in the relevant legislature within a period as brief as reasonably feasible.

The time limit given by the various Presidents at the Centre varied from almost sixty days by Neelam Sanjiva Reddy to the Charan Singh government to barely two days to the present Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral to prove their majority on the floor of the House.

The Governors felt that wherever a combination of parties proposes to stake a claim to government formation, it would be desirable that they should resolve to coordinate their legislative strength with each other to form a government.

The members of this combination should also prior to staking claim meet and elect a leader and adopt a modicum of commonality of approach in governance, namely, spell out a common minimum programme and have arrangements for coordinating among themselves.

The conference was of the view that the confidence vote should precede the address by the constitutional head spelling out policies and programmes of the government, apparently keeping in view the address by the President to joint sitting of Parliament last year when BJP was invited to form the government at the Centre.

The government of Atal Behari Vajpayee fell within a fortnight having lost the vote of confidence.

First Published: Thu, June 05 1997. 00:00 IST