As the political temperature is on the rise with an unprecedented pace the observers are grappled with some intriguing questions with what options the Speaker is having being the Alfa conundrum.
Some opine , and they belong to the ruling coterie, that Speaker can restrict any PTI parliamentarian to cast vote is he has some doubts of floor crossing about the said member.
Similarly some are of the view that if any member casts his vote against the instructions and policy of his party , the speaker has the power to cancel the said vote.However a bare reading of the constitution overrules all such misconceptions.
It provides that:
(1) If a member of a Parliamentary Party composed of a single political party in a House-
(a) resigns from membership of his political party or joins another Parliamentary Party; or
(b) votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the Parliamentary Party to which he belongs, in relations to-
(i) election of the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister; or
(ii) a vote of confidence or a vote of no-confidence; or
(iii) a Money Bill or a Constitution (Amendment) Bill;
he may be declared in writing by the Party Head to have defected from the political party, and the Head of the Parliamentary Party may forward a copy of the declaration to the Presiding Officer, and shall similarly forward a copy thereof to the member concerned:
Provided that before making the declaration, the Party Head shall provide such member with an opportunity to show cause as to why such declaration may not be made against him.
It means Speaker has a role in the said matter only when the defection is actually occurred. Before this occurrence he has nothing to do with it. He has no preventive power under the Constitution. His role is very limited. He is just supposed to ford the reference against the said member to the Election commission and nothing else. If Speaker tries to exercise powers beyond the Constitution it will be unlawful and unconstitutional.