The Madhya Pradesh Governor directed the Speaker of the MP Legislative Assembly to convene the session so that legislators could act on the no-confidence motion pending against him.
- The tussle between the opposition party (BJP) and the Governor on one side and the Speaker on the other began over the resignation letters of 22 rebel Congress legislators.
- The speaker had refused to accept their resignation letters saying he would take a call only if they appeared before him to let him verify if they signed voluntarily or under duress.
- The speaker had accepted resignation letters of six MLAs (all ministers) but accepted the remaining 16 resignations very late.
What Governor said?
- As the action on no-confidence motion against the speaker is the job of the legislature, therefore after convening the session necessary action should be taken on this proposal on priority.
- Until then the Principal Secretary, Vidhan Sabha, will perform daily work on direction of the speaker.
- The Speaker he was expected to work only after studying the legality of every subject based on the Constitution, the Vidhan Sabha rules and morality, until his fate was decided by the Assembly.
Demand for appointing pro-term speaker:
- A day before resignation by the Chief Minister, the opposition party had implored the Governor to use the powers vested in him under the Constitution to appoint a pro-tem Speaker instead to abide by the constitutional values and democratic traditions.
- The opposition party accuses the Speaker of acting in a motivated way.
Speaker of Assembly
Election and Tenure:
- The Speaker is elected by the Legislative Assembly from amongst its members (as soon as may be, after its first sitting).
- Whenever the office of the Speaker falls vacant, the assembly elects another member to fill the vacancy.
- The date of election of the Speaker is fixed by the Governor.
- Usually, the Speaker remains in office during the life of the assembly.
However, he has to vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:
- if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly;
- if he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker; and
- if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Assembly. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
When a resolution for removal is under consideration:
- When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present.
- However, he can speak and take part in the proceedings of the House at such a time and vote in the first instance, though not in the case of an equality of votes.
Note: It should be noted here that, whenever the Assembly is dissolved, the Speaker does not vacate his office and continues till the newly-elected Legislative Assembly meets.
Speaker Pro Tem
- As provided by the Constitution, the Speaker of a legislative assembly vacates his office immediately before the first meeting of the newly-elected assembly.
- Therefore, the Governor appoints a member of the assembly as the Speaker Pro Tem. Usually, the senior most member is selected for this.
- The Governor himself administers oath to the Speaker Pro Tem.
- The Speaker Pro Tem has all the powers of the Speaker.
- He presides over the first sitting of the newly-elected assembly.
- His main duty is to administer oaths to the new members.
- He also enables the House to elect the new Speaker.
- When the new Speaker is elected by the House, the office of the Speaker Pro Tem ceases to exist. Hence, this office is a temporary office, existing for a few days.
No-Confidence Motion: It means that the ministry stays in office so long as it enjoys confidence of the
majority of the members of the Assembly. In other words, the Assembly can remove the ministry from office by passing a no-confidence motion. The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.
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Image source: India today