India’s Parliament rejects no confidence against motion


News in Focus

  • Lok Sabha has rejected no confidence motion against the Council of Minister by figure of 325 to 126.

What is a no-confidence motion?

  • Neither a confidence motion nor a no-confidence motion is mentioned in the Constitution. But Article 75 spells it out that “the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People”. this implies that the majority of Lok Sabha members must support the prime minister and his cabinet.
  • A no-confidence motion is an attempt, usually by an Opposition party, to get the government of the day to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
  • The motion can only be moved by a member in the Lok Sabha, and, once moved, offers MPs an opportunity to discuss the government’s performance, before voting on whether the ruling party has the “confidence” of the House.
  • A no-confidence motion is slightly different from a motion of confidence, or trust vote, which is moved by the government, as an ordinary motion under Rule 184. A government can prove its majority by moving a confidence motion as a counter to the opposition parties.
  • Once the notice is received and considered to be in order, the Speaker reads out the motion. If more than 50 members of Parliament are in favour of it, the Speaker will allot a date and time to discuss the motion. The Speaker has to put forth every question necessary that will help the House in determining its decision and may also allot a time limit for speeches.
  • The Prime Minister and Council of Ministers can only hold office if they have the confidence of the Lok Sabha. If they fail to do so, then they are obliged to resign. The Prime Minister may also suggest dissolving the House before the vote on either a confidence or a no-confidence motion

Previous no-confidence motions

  • So far, 26 no-confidence motions have been moved in Lok Sabha since Independence.
  • Acharya Kripalani moved the first no confidence motion in August 1963, immediately after the India-China war.
  • Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister faced the most number of no-confidence motions-15.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri and Narasimha Rao both faced it thrice. Morarji Desai twice and Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee faced once each.

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