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The Rediff Special/rediff Political Bureau

What is horse-trading?

May 23, 2005

A ready reckoner to some oft repeated political terms thrown up by the Bihar drama.

What is an assembly in suspended animation?

After a state is placed under President's rule, the state governor may dismiss the council of ministers and recommend to the President that the state legislative assembly be dissolved or s/he may keep it alive -- that is, in suspended animation -- and wait for a realignment of political parties in the assembly, till a single party or a coalition of some parties musters the support of a majority of members of the state assembly.

The assembly -- if it is kept alive -- may be asked to meet again and elect a new leader as chief minister.

'The assembly should have been dissolved earlier, not now'

What is horse-trading?

When political parties resort to unscrupulous ways to lure members from another party to put together the majority required to form a government. Sometimes the defectors are rewarded with plum ministerial berths, often with sumptuous monetary gains.

President A P J Abdul Kalam in his speech to Parliament this February, said legislative seats won through allegedly dubious and undemocratic means, have many a time created doubts about our democratic system in the public eye.

'We saved the UPA govt'

What is President's rule?

If the President is satisfied either with the governor's recommendation or otherwise that the constitutional machinery in the state has failed to work he may place the state under President's rule. In this, the state's administration is directly placed under the President and the Union government. The governor's powers are enhanced to a great extent during President's rule.

The Rediff Specials

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