On July 18, the day one of the monsoon session of Parliament, the no-confidence motion against the ruling government was accepted by the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. In the last budget session, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had not accepted the notice for no-confidence motion which was washed out due to protests by TDP, TRS and AIADMK. It is to be noted that in the last 15 years, the no-confidence motion has never been accepted.
To stay in power at the centre, the ruling government has to prove its majority in the Lok Sabha. Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of Lok Sabha gives the procedure to move a no-confidence motion.
Usually, for an opposition party, a no-confidence motion is an attempt to prompt the government in power to prove its majority on the floor of the House. This motion can only be moved by a member in Lok Sabha. Once the notice is received and considered, the Speaker has to read it out. If 50 or more than 50 MPs are in favour of it, then the Speaker accepts it. After this on a designated date and time, the motion is discussed.
The notice for no-confidence motion on July 18 was submitted by several Opposition members, but the first one was from Telugu Desam Party’s MP Kesineni Srinivas which was ultimately accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The speaker had then announced that the discussion on the motion will take place on July 20.
On the designated date, discussion on the motion ensues, wherein members of Lok Sabha present their views on the performance of the government. After this, the members go on to vote. To stay in power, the government should have got at least 273 votes (if all members are present). If they fail to do so, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers will have to then resign.
No-confidence motion in the past
Till date, a total of 26 no-confidence motions have been passed. The first no-confidence motion was passed in 1963 after the Indo-China war against the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru had successfully managed to get the majority vote. Indira Gandhi remains the Prime Minister to have faced the maximum number of the no-confidence motion. However, her government managed to win all the trust votes thanks to the numbers they had.
One of the most intriguing and remarkable no-confidence motion was in 1999 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to resign after losing the trust vote by just one vote. The last Prime Minister to face a no-confidence motion was Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003, which was moved by Sonia Gandhi.
Also published on Medium.