Elections 2019: All you need to know about how governments are formed post polls
22, May 2019, 7:32 PM
New Delhi: Indian parliamentary democracy has a federal structure with 29 states and 7 union territories. As we are heading towards the last phase of the 2019 general election, let's look at what goes into government-formation after the elections are over.
Approximately 900 million voters from across the country will elect 543 members to the lower house of Parliament called the ‘Lok Sabha’. The party or coalition that gets a simple majority of 272 seats is invited to form the government.
With a large number of regional parties contesting in the elections, it may become tough for a party to reach the magic figure all by itself. In such a scenario, it needs the support of other parties.
The President then asks the party or alliance to prove its majority within 10 days. There can be two possibilities during this period. Either smaller parties try to join hands to get the majority, or bigger parties persuade smaller ones to support them in order to form a coalition government. The NDA government (1999-2004) became the first coalition government in India to complete the five-year term successfully.
It is important for a party or coalition not having the majority to not lose a vote of confidence after the polls. So the majority of the legislators should not vote against the government, even if they don't vote for the government. This they can do by either abstaining from voting or being absent during the voting.
There may arise a situation in which a party has the most number of seats, but a coalition (with active or outside support) has more seats combined. There may also be a situation in which the single largest party also has more numbers than a pre-poll coalition. In such cases, the President should invite the leader who has bigger numbers behind him/her to form the government.
A government formed with outside support entails parties offering support from outside, and not taking up ministerial posts.
When a party or coalition not having a majority still forms the government with or without formal support of other parties, it is called a minority government. Any legislation to be passed needs the support of a sufficient number of parties. This leads to multi-partisanship.
The Chandra Sekhar, VP Singh, Deve Gowda, and IK Gujral government survived with 'outside support'.
This was an instance of a post-poll alliance being struck. Such alliances have turned out to be a new alternative in contemporary politics.
In the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress got the most number of seats but fell short of the magic figure. Still, the government was formed under its leadership. It was a classic example of a minority government. Any government, however, would always prefer active support, because that way, there will be a smaller possibility of a regional party withdrawing support later.
The entire nation is looking forward to find out the type of government that might be ruling the nation for the next five years.