Amidst the ongoing parliamentary stand-off over the Manipur ethnic clashes, the Congress party, in collaboration with Telangana's Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), has taken a bold step by filing two separate no-confidence motions against the Narendra Modi-led government in Lok Sabha.
The Manipur conflict, which has resulted in a staggering death toll of over 125 people, thousands of displaced individuals and tales of unspeakable horrors has been at the core of the deadlock in both houses of parliament since the commencement of the monsoon session on July 20.
The opposition's strategy revolves around compelling Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally address the matter in parliament, despite the government's stance that Union Home Minister Amit Shah will handle the debate on the Manipur situation.
Numbers and Political Landscape
With the NDA government holding a safe majority in Lok Sabha with 331 members out of the majority mark of 272, BJP alone has 303 members in House. On the other hand, the opposition alliance, INDIA, stands at 144 members.
Additionally, parties like BRS, YSRCP, and BJD together hold 70 seats. Despite the opposition's collective strength, it falls short of toppling the government through a no-confidence motion.
What Is The No-Confidence Motion?
The no-confidence motion serves as a strategic tool for the opposition to express their lack of confidence in the ruling government and to bring its failures to the forefront for discussion in the house. It also plays a pivotal role in unifying the opposition against the government. Should the motion succeed, the entire cabinet, including the Prime Minister, must resign.
Lok Sabha's Exclusive Right and Procedure
As per Article 75 of the Constitution, the Cabinet is collectively accountable to the Lok Sabha. The no-confidence motion can only be introduced in Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha. It can be brought by any party in parliament and requires the support of at least 50 members.
Once introduced, the President of India fixes a day or multiple days for the discussion, and the government must prove its majority. Failure to do so results in the cabinet's resignation or dismissal.
Historical Impact on Previous Governments
Throughout history, no-confidence motions have been instrumental in holding governments accountable and have led to the downfall of several leaders. While some governments survived the motions, others, like those led by Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, VP Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, were toppled. In 2018, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government faced a no-confidence motion, which it managed to defeat by 199 votes.