AB Vajpayee will vote on the UPA government’s confidence motion in the lobby of Parliament on July 22. Leader of Opposition LK Advani has sought this arrangement from the Lok Sabha secretariat as it is difficult for the ailing leader to reach his seat in the House.
The Lok Sabha manual provides for the Speaker to allow such exceptions in case a member cannot vote from his seat. Voting slips are provided to such members and they are assisted in the procedure.
This provision was first used on February 26, 1999 to facilitate voting by Vijaya Raje Scindia, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vaidya Vishnu Dutt. All had health problems and the then Speaker took a sense of the House after the parliamentary affairs minister sought the exception. Vajpayee apart, no one else has sought the facility this time.
The government is unlikely to prorogue the session after July 22 if it wins the trust vote, and the monsoon session will be convened as a continuation of this one. Contrary to the public perception, there is nothing like a ‘special session’ of Parliament. It will be the 14th session of 14th Lok Sabha that will convene on July 21.
If the session is held in two parts with a recess in between, that’ll ensure the government doesn’t face another trial of strength on the floor. According to item 338 of the Rules of Procedure of Lok Sabha, “a motion shall not raise a question substantially identical with one on which the House has given a decision in the same session”.