A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government (via post poll alliance) . The usual reason for such an arrangement is that no single party has achieved an absolute majority after an election. A coalition government might also be created in a time of national difficulty or crisis (for example, during wartime or economic crisis) to, give a government the high degree of perceived political legitimacy or collective identity, it can also play a role in diminishing internal political strife. In such times, parties have formed all-party coalitions (national unity governments, grand coalitions). If a coalition collapses, a confidence vote is held or a motion of no confidence is taken.

Supreme Court on Post-Poll Alliance:

The supreme court while deciding the matter  in regard to whether the single largest party or the leader claiming majority with post-poll alliance should be invited to form the new government in Karnataka, where no party gets a simple majority to form the government, referred to it’s decision in the case of Rameshwar Prasad Vs Union of India, 2006, wherein a five-judge Constitution Bench, clearly recommended the suggestions made by the R S Sarkaria Commission in its report on Centre-State relations, which had emphasized on the impartiality of Governors and their role in upholding the constitutional mandate.

Later, the M M Punchhi Commission also elaborated that the governor should follow “constitutional conventions” in a case of a hung Assembly. Further, in a case of a Hung Assembly, the Punchhi Commission prescribed:

1. The party or alliances which get the widest support in the Legislative Assembly should be called upon to form the government.

2. If there is a pre-poll coalition or alliance, it should be treated as one political party. And in case, such coalition gets a majority, the leader of such alliances shall be called by the Governor to form the government.

3. In case no pre-poll coalition or party has a clear majority, the governor should select the Chief Minister in the order of priorities indicated here:

(i) The group of parties which had a pre-poll alliance of the largest number.
(ii) The largest single party which claims to form the government with the support of others;
(iii) A post-electoral alliance with all partners joining the government;
(iv) A post-electoral alliance where parties are joining the government and the remaining including independents are supporting the government from outside.

In the Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix Vs Deputy Speaker case a five-judge Bench, recommended the views of the Punchhi and Sarkaria Commissions regarding giving the Governor an independent discretion to take a call on the floor test when the government has lost the confidence of the legislature.

In the S R Bommai case, a nine-judge Bench had underlined the significance of a floor test when there are claims by two political groups while laying down that the floor test must be conducted by the Governor as soon as possible.

In a democracy, the proper representation of public interest is of supreme importance. And the governments are chosen by the people. And, our constitution has clearly directed the ways how the government should be formed in the case of Hung Assembly. And it has given this prerogative to the Governors. So the governor should analyze which political party or alliance is forming the majority on the basis of constitutional provisions. And his decision should be followed by the political parties.

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