Context: The No Confidence motion moved by the Congress against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party coalition government in Haryana on Wednesday was defeated by 55 votes to 32.
What is No Confidence motion?
- Article 75/164 of the Constitution: The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha/State Assembly (not Parliament/State Legislature!).
- A no-confidence motion is usually moved by the opposition when it feels that the ruling government does not enjoy a majority in the House any longer.
- No reason is required to move such a motion.
- It can be moved against the entire Council of Ministers and not individual ministers or private members.
- A no-confidence motion can be moved by any member of the house and can be done only in the Lok Sabha/State Assembly and not the Rajya Sabha/Legislative Council.
- The Rajya Sabha/Legislative Council cannot remove the council of ministers by passing a no-confidence motion.
- This is because the Council of ministers is collectively responsible only to the Lok Sabha/State Assembly.
- But, the Rajya Sabha/Legislative Council can discuss and criticise the policies and activities of the government.
- Such a motion is moved under Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure (the term is not mentioned in the Constitution).
- A member has to give a written notice of the motion before 10 am, which is then read out by the Speaker of the House.
- Any Lok Sabha MP who can garner the support of 50 colleagues, can introduce a motion of no-confidence against the Council of Ministers. If the motion carries, the house debates and votes on the motion.
- If a majority of the members of the house vote in favour of the motion, the motion is passed and the Government is bound to vacate the office.
- If individuals or parties abstain from voting, those numbers will be removed from the overall strength of the House and then the majority will be taken into account.
- The question of the Union government/state government losing the confidence of the Lok Sabha/legislative assembly should be decided on the floor of the House and until that is done the ministry should not be unseated.
- Both censure motion and no-confidence motion can be moved in Lok Sabha or lower house in states.
- J.B. Kripalani moved the first-ever no-confidence motion in August 1963 against the Nehru government after the India-China war.
- Kripalani, an independent MP condemned the Nehru government for poor execution of plans, and even called Jawaharlal Nehru’s Panchsheel policy “five nonsenses.”
- The maximum number of such motions have been moved against Indira Gandhi during her various tenures as Prime Minister.
- The first motion that almost passed muster, and led to the falling of a government was that by Y.B. Chavan against the Morarji Desai government. Only almost, because Desai resigned before the motion could be put to vote.