Speaker Admits No-Confidence Motion by Congress MP in LS

NEW DELHI: Adopting a fresh strategy to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak in Parliament on the Manipur violence, the Opposition led by the Congress on Wednesday moved a no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha. The motion was moved by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that he has admitted the no-confidence motion and the date and time for the discussion on the motion will be conveyed after discussing it with the leaders of all parties. Although the no-confidence motion is bound to fail the test of numbers, given the government’s strength in the Lower House, the Opposition argued that this would help them win “the battle of perception” by cornering the government on the Manipur issue during the debate.

The Opposition members said that while they are aware the motion is destined to fall flat, it was just a strategy to compel the PM to speak in Parliament on the crucial matter since the government has been insisting that home minister Amit Shah will reply to the debate on the Manipur situation. The alliance of 26 Opposition parties, INDIA, had decided to move the motion in order to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak in Parliament on the Manipur violence.

Apart from Gogoi, BRS MP Nama Nageshwar Rao also submitted a notice to move a no-confidence motion against the Union council of ministers. The K. Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is not a part of the INDIA alliance.

Interestingly, as news of the no-confidence motion came out, a remark made by Modi during a Parliament speech in the Lok Sabha in 2019 has gone viral, in which he mockingly tells the Opposition parties to prepare hard to bring a no-confidence motion in 2023. “I want to send you my good wishes that you prepare so much that you get a chance to bring a no-confidence again in 2023,” he had said during his reply to the motion of thanks on the President’s address — his last major speech in the House ahead of the 2019 general election in which the BJP bagged 303 seats compared to 282 in the 2014 general election. After the Lok Sabha met at 12 noon and papers were laid on the table, Birla said he had received a notice from Mr Gogoi for moving a motion of no-confidence against the government.

“I want to inform the House that I have received a motion expressing a want of confidence in the council of ministers from Gaurav Gogoi under Rule 198. I request Gaurav Gogoi to seek the permission of the House for it. The resolution states ‘This House expresses want of confidence in the council of ministers’,” he said.

After Gogoi sought the permission of the House for the said motion, Birla asked members in favour of granting permission to admit the motion to stand up in their places for a head count. MPs belonging to the Opposition alliance bloc INDIA, including Congress parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, DMK’s T.R. Baalu and NCP leader Supriya Sule, stood up for the head count. Birla then admitted the motion of no-confidence. Any member of the Lok Sabha can move a no-confidence motion. The member has to give a written notice of the motion before 10 am, which will be read out by the Speaker in the House. A minimum of 50 members have to support the motion and the Speaker will accordingly announce the date for discussion for the motion. The allotted date has to be within 10 days from the day the motion is accepted. If not, the motion fails and the member who moved the motion has to be informed about it. If the government is not able to prove its majority in the House, it has to resign.

The Lok Sabha currently has a strength of 543 seats, of which five are vacant. The BJP-led NDA has over 330 members, the Opposition alliance Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) has over 140 and over 60 members belong to parties not aligned to any of the two groups.

Next Story