Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted the ‘No Confidence Motion’ against the NDA government on Wednesday. The motion was moved by TDP, Congress and NCP. Today, the motion is being put to test in the house. NDA has 311 MP’s while the opposition has 222 MP’s, hence the motion is sure to fail but the debate will show the strength and unity of the opposition, not only to the ruling BJP but also to the masses who are to decide the fate of the parties in 2019 elections. The voting process will take place today evening.
What is a ‘No Confidence Motion’ ?
A ‘No Confidence Motion’ is an attempt by the opposition party, to get the ruling government to prove its majority by a floor test in the Lok Sabha (It can only be moved in Lok Sabha and not Rajya Sabha). A minimum of 50 members have to accept the motion which is then accepted by the Speaker of the house and a date for debate is set. Once the motion is moved, the MP’s get an opportunity to discuss the failures of the government and finally a voting is conducted on whether the ruling party has the “confidence” of the house.
The ruling government needs at least 273 votes to prove its majority, if they fail to do so the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers can no longer hold office.
What does our History say ?
In the past we have had 26 no-confidence motions moved with the first being against Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963 by JB Kripalani of the Praja Socialist Party. Nehru won that vote by a huge margin of 285 votes.
Indira Gandhi have faced the no-confidence motions for 15 times, the most, by any Prime Minister. Lal Bahadur Shastri and PV Narasimha Rao faced no-confidence motions thrice. Morarji Desai have faced it twice out of which once it didn’t reach the voting stage as he resigned prior the vote.
Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Behari Vajpayee also faced one no-confidence motion each. This motion against Narendra Modi is his first and the motion is being moved after 15 years, last in 2003 against Vajpayee.
There have been a total of five times when prime ministers have resigned after failing to win the motion of confidence. Atal Behari Vajpayee, twice failed to prove his majority in the house, once in 1996 and the other in 1998 when he lost by a mere one vote as AIADMK withdrew support.
Charan Singh was the first to resign in 1979. VP Singh first proved his majority in 1989 but failed in the subsequent year of 1990. Similarly HD Deve Gowda also proved his vote in 1996 but failed in 1997.
(IMAGE COURTESY : FACTLY)