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No-confidence motion: What is it, and how can it be moved in Lok Sabha

For the no-confidence motion to be granted, at least 50 members of the Lok Sabha should support the motion

Parliament of India

Parliament of India

Rimjhim Singh New Delhi

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As the Opposition continues to protest in the Parliament demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Manipur violence, the coalition has now decided to move a no-confidence motion against the Central government in the Lok Sabha today.

What is a no-confidence motion?

A no-confidence motion is a legislative resolution introduced in the Lok Sabha that allows the Opposition to challenge the government's majority and ability to govern. A no-confidence motion must be in writing and should be signed by all the members moving it.

The motion must be submitted to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha on any day on which the House is sitting. For the motion to be granted, at least 50 members of the Lok Sabha should support the motion.

If the motion is accepted, then the party in power has to prove its majority in the House. The ruling party can remain in power when it shows its strength through a floor test in the House.

According to Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Lok Sabha, there is no need for the Opposition to state the reason for requesting a no-confidence motion before the Lok Sabha adopts it.

What is the procedure for calling a no-confidence motion?

Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of the Lok Sabha states the procedure for moving a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.

According to Lok Sabha Rules 198(1)(b), the member has to give a written notice of the motion before 10 am to the Secretary-General.

A minimum of 50 members in the House have to accept the motion and accordingly, the Speaker of the House will announce the date for discussion for the no-confidence motion. The Speaker may grant time for the discussion of the motion (under sub-rule (2) and (3) of Rule 198 of Lok Sabha Rules).

The allotted date has to be within 10 days from the day the motion is accepted. Otherwise, the motion will fail and the members who moved the motion will be informed about it.

How is a no-confidence motion debated?

The no-confidence motion will be debated in the Lok Sabha. The motion will be moved by the member who submitted it, and the government will then respond to the no-confidence motion. The Opposition parties will then have the opportunity to speak on the motion.

How is a no-confidence motion voted on?

After the debate in the House, the Lok Sabha will vote on the no-confidence motion. The motion will be passed if it is supported by a majority of the members of the House. If a no-confidence motion is passed, the government must resign.

However, if the government wins the vote on the no-confidence motion, the motion is defeated and the government remains in power.

How many no-confidence motions have been moved in the Lok Sabha so far?

Since independence, 27 no-confidence motions have been moved in the Lok Sabha. The first no-confidence motion was moved against Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi faced the most no-confidence motions 15 times.

Four of the 15 no-confidence motions against Indira Gandhi were moved by Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) leader Jyotirmoy Basu.

There were three motions against Lal Bahadur Shastri, three against P V Narasimha Rao, two against Morarji Desai and one each against Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government lost the no-confidence motion by a margin of one vote (269–270) in April 1999.

The most recent no-confidence motion was called in 2018 against the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The NDA government survived the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha by 195 votes.

While 135 members supported the motion, 330 MPs rejected it.

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First Published: Jul 26 2023 | 12:35 PM IST

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