What is a no-confidence motion, and how it’s taken up in Parliament

For those who came in late, here’s an overview of the no-trust motion and how it can be used to bring down a government.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2018 07:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had won the last no-confidence motion in 2003. (HT Photo)

The Narendra Modi government will face a no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition on Friday. Although the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has 312 members in the 535-member Lok Sabha, well above the halfway mark of 268 needed for it to win, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has indicated that the outcome may not be to the government’s liking.

This is the first no-confidence motion to be taken up in Parliament since 2003, when the Vajpayee government registered a thumping win against its political detractors. For those who came in late, here’s an overview of the no-confidence motion and how it can be used to bring down a government.

- The no-confidence motion is moved against the council of ministers in the Lok Sabha when there is a belief that they are no longer fit to hold positions of responsibility due to political inadequacies or inability to fulfil their obligations.

- As per Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, any member of the house can move a no-confidence motion. The written notice of the motion has be given to the secretary general of the House by 10 am on any day of sitting.

- Once this motion is moved, the Speaker reads it out in the Lok Sabha. It then has to be supported by at least 50 members of the House to gain acceptance. Following this, the Speaker then decides a day for the discussion when the ruling party can prove its trust by answering questions raised by Opposition members.

- Finally, the Speaker puts the question before the House, and it decides the fate of the government either through a voice vote (where the Speaker calls out to the members of the house and asks for their consent) or division of votes (dividing the House to decide a matter by majority vote).

- If the motion is accepted by a majority of the members, the government has to resign. If that does not happen, which will most likely be the case on Friday, it will remain.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 21:11 IST