- Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has admitted a motion of no-confidence against the government moved by Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi after a headcount of 50 MPs required under the rules.
What is the purpose of a no-confidence motion against the government?
- In India’s cabinet form of government, the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. The rules of Lok Sabha provide the mechanism of a no-confidence motion to test whether the Council of Ministers continues to enjoy the confidence of the House.
- Twenty-seven no-confidence motions have been moved so far. None of these motions has been successful.
- In 1979, Prime Minister Morarji Desai realised that he did not have the support of the majority of MPs, and therefore resigned before the House voted on the motion.
Given the history of failure, why do oppositions still bring these motions?
- Opposition parties have continued to press the no-confidence motion essentially to hold the government accountable.
- In 1963, J B Kripalani moved the first no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha even though the government of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a comfortable majority.
- It is this principle of holding the government responsible to Lok Sabha that led to the opposition initiating 12 no-confidence motions against Indira Gandhi when she was Prime Minister between 1966 and 1975.
- The debate on a no-confidence motion is also wide-ranging. Participating MPs raise both national and state issues during this debate.
When will the debate on the current no-confidence motion start?
- The rules of procedure of Lok Sabha specify that after the no-confidence motion is admitted, the Speaker shall specify the date on which the debate will begin. This date should be within 10 days from the date the motion was accepted in the House.
- The debate can go on for many hours, over multiple days.