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No Confidence Motion

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July 28, 2023

Why in news?

Recently, Lok Sabha Speaker accepted the Opposition’s no confidence motion against the Government.

What is no confidence motion?

  • In a parliamentary democracy, a government can be in power only if it commands a majority in the directly elected House.
  • It is a parliamentary process that allows the opposition to challenge the government’s majority.
  • If the no-confidence motion is passed in the Parliament, then the government must resign.
  • Article 75(3) of our Constitution embodies this rule by specifying that the Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
  • For testing this collective responsibility, the rules of Lok Sabha provide a particular mechanism – a motion of no-confidence.
  • A no confidence motion can only be moved in the Lok Sabha.

Why is NCM adopted now?

  • Manipur Issue - Since the beginning of the Monsoon Session, opposition parties have been demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in Parliament on the violent situation in Manipur.
  • After several days of protests and washouts, the opposition gave two separate notices to move motions of no-confidence against the government, hoping to force the Prime Minister to reply to the debate             

What is the difference between NCM and censure motion?        

Censure Motion

No Confidence Motion

It should state the reasons for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.

It need not state the reasons for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.

It can be moved against an individual minister or a group of ministers or the entire council of ministers.

It can be moved against the entire council of ministers only.

It is moved for censuring the council of ministers for specific policies and actions.

It is moved for ascertaining the confidence of Lok Sabha in the council of ministers.

If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers need not resign from the office

If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers must resign from office.

What is the procedure for passing a NCM?

  • Support - Any Lok Sabha MP who can garner the support of 50 colleagues can introduce a motion of no-confidence against the Council of Ministers.
  • It is moved in writing and must be signed by the member moving it, the motion is submitted to the Speaker of Lok Sabha on any day on which the House is sitting.
  • Power of Speaker - He will decide whether to admit the motion for discussion and debate.
  • If the motion is admitted, the Speaker will decide on the date and time for discussion.
  • Date - This date for discussion should be within 10 days from the date the motion was accepted in the House.
  • Time for discussion - The Speaker may grant time for discussion of the motion under Rule 198 of Lok Sabha.
  • Debate - The motion will be debated in the Lok Sabha and it will be moved by the member who submitted it.
  • Government will respond to the motion, the opposition parties will then have the opportunity to speak on the motion.
  • Vote - After the debate, the Lok Sabha will vote on the NCM, it will be passed if it is supported by the majority of the members of the House.

If NCM is passed

If Government wins the vote

The Government must resign

The motion is defeated and the Government remains in power

 

 

 

History of no confidence motion (NCM)

  • Since Independence 27 NCMs have been moved in the Lok Sabha
  • First NCM - It was during the 3rd Lok Sabha in 1963 that the first motion of no confidence was moved by Acharya J B Kripalani against the government headed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Highest number of instances-
    • Indira Gandhi- Faced NCMs 15 times.
    • Lal Bahadur Shasthri- Faced 3 times.
    • PV Narashima Rao- Faced three times.
  • 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.
  • Governments fallen due to NCM
    • V P Singh government in 1990
    • H D Deve Gowda government in 1997
    • Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999
  • Most recent NCM was moved in 2018 by Telugu Desam Party against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

 

References

  1. Indian Express| Explained NCM
  2. Indian Express| Why NCM matters
  3. Hindustan Times| What is NCM
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