Opposition front I.N.D.I.A plans No Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha

Opposition front I.N.D.I.A plans No Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha
Opposition front I.N.D.I.A plans No Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha

Four years after surviving a no-confidence motion brought by its former ally Telugu Desam Party, the BJP government may face a similar motion this week as the Opposition seeks to corner Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Manipur ethnic violence.

During the Monsoon session of Parliament, Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, addresses the chamber. In an effort to force Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the violence in Manipur in Parliament, certain opposition INDIA coalition parties are likely to lodge a notice for a no-confidence vote against the government in the Lok Sabha, sources said on Tuesday.

While the BJP government faces no threat due to it as the NDA has a comfortable majority in Lok Sabha, the Opposition has said the objective was to push PM Modi to reply in Parliament on the Manipur issue.

During a Tuesday morning meeting of the members of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), a proposal to file the notice was discussed. According to the sources, it was determined after carefully assessing the pros and cons that doing this would be a good method to persuade the administration to start a conversation about the matter.

The opposition strategy to corner the government on Manipur will continue in the Rajya Sabha as well, the sources said.

“I am not aware of their move but if they are doing so they should know that last time they brought a no-confidence motion, BJP came back to power with a stronger majority of over 300 seats and the same will happen again and we will get more than 350 seats,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said in response.

If we delve into India’s history, there are three instances when no-confidence motions tabled by Opposition resulted in the dismissal of governments.

What Is A No-Confidence Motion? What Is The Process To Move A Motion?

If the Lok Sabha does not have at least 272 MPs, which is also required to establish a government or alliance, then a no-confidence resolution cannot be brought out. Two nominated Anglo-Indians and 543 elected MPs make up the Lok Sabha. A no-confidence vote may be presented if any Lok Sabha MP believes the ruling party does not have a majority.

Secondly, as per the rules, to introduce the motion on the floor of the House, the MP needs the support of 50 legislators. 

The MP then has to give a written notice of the motion before 10 am to the Speaker of the Lower House. 

The Speaker then announces the date for discussion for the motion. As per the Lok Sabha rulebook, the date has to be within 10 days from the day the motion is accepted.

After the motion is accepted, then the ruling party has to prove its majority in the House. If the government fails to prove its majority, then the Prime Minister has to resign.

Also, if any MP or party abstains from voting, those numbers are removed from the overall strength of the House and the majority is then taken into account.

Has The Modi Government Previously Faced No-Confidence Motion?

A no-confidence motion was filed against the Modi administration in 2018 by the Telugu Desam Party, a former NDA ally, after the party claimed that the Centre had failed to provide Andhra Pradesh with sufficient funding. The TDP’s break with the BJP led to the introduction of the motion.

A number of Opposition parties had extended their support to the motion. However, the Shiv Sena stayed away from the proceedings and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD walked out of the House.

The debate, however, turned into a platform for the Opposition to attack the government over issues such as farm distress, economic growth and rising incidents of mob lynching. However, the government defeated the motion and won it by 325 to 126 votes.

Has There Been Any Instance When A Govt Was Removed After No-Confidence Vote?

No-confidence motions have been introduced before, but only three of them led to the downfall of the ruling party. In August 1963, the first no-confidence vote against the post-independence government of Jawaharlal Nehru was initiated. Acharya JB Kripalani filed the motion. Only 62 votes were cast in favour of the proposal, while 347 votes were against it.

VP Singh Government (1990)

In 1990, the government of Janata Dal stalwart VP Singh faced a no-confidence motion. Eleven months after being sworn-in as PM, Singh saw the BJP pulling out support over the Ram temple issue. The VP Singh government lost a no-confidence motion on November 10, 1990. Singh lost the motion by a vote of 142 to 346 in the Lok Sabha.

Interestingly, VP Singh’s National Front coalition government was propped up BJP in a bid to keep the Congress out of power. 

HD Deve Gowda Government (1997)

Seven years later, Janata Dal’s Deve Gowda faced the same fate and he had to resign as PM after being 10 months in power. 

In the 1996 election, no party had enough seats to form a government on their own. However, the Sitaram Kesri-led Congress lent its support and Gowda became the 11th PM of India, leading a 13-party coalition.

However, 10 months later, Congress withdrew its support and a no-confidence motion was moved on April 11, 1997. The Gowda-led government failed to defeat the motion and could garner only 158 votes in its support.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1999)

As Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee faced two no-confidence motions and has a 50-50 record. The first no-confidence motion was brought in April 1999 after the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK withdrew support. Vajpayee lost the motion by a single vote after the BSP voted against the government.

However, the BJP returned to power in the subsequent election. This time, the Congress-led Opposition brought another no-confidence motion against the Vajpayee government in 2003. This time, the BJP won by an overwhelming majority of 312 to 186 votes.

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