President to face her first real test tomorrow
With the Left deciding to snap ties with the UPA, President Pratibha Patil will face her first real test on whether to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek a trust vote in Parliament or not.
Patil (72) will find herself in the spotlight at the end of a fortnight-long political manoeuvring and intense speculation on whether the Manmohan Singh ministry will have the numbers to survive a floor test.
Constitutional experts say Patil has two options before her -- either to ask the government to prove its majority or go by the letter of support given by Samajwadi Party and others in 2004, a precedent set up by President K R Narayanan.
"The President should ask the government to prove its majority in the floor of the House since there are news emerging that some Samajwadi Party MPs are against the deal and would vote against the deal even if the party issues a whip.
"In light of this, the President is left with no option but to ask the government to prove its majority," Raju Ramachandran, senior advocate told PTI.
However, former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan said there was "no point in the Constitution which talks about confidence motion for a functioning government" and hence Patil was not required to ask the government to prove its majority.
"Confidence motion is moved in the Parliament in case of newly formed government. It is for the opposition to do so and not the President," he said.