LS Speaker admits no-trust motion against Modi govt
To decide date after discussion with all parties
New Delhi Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday admitted a no-confidence motion moved by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi against the Narendra Modi government, setting the stage for a showdown between the Opposition and treasury benches over Manipur and other burning issues.
Birla said he will inform the members about the date for a discussion on the matter as per rules after discussing the same with leaders of all parties. After the House met at 12 noon and papers were laid on the table, the Speaker said he has received a notice from Gogoi for moving a motion of no-confidence against the government.
"I want to inform the House that I have received a motion expressing want of confidence in 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 SupriyaSule, stood up for the head count. Birla then admitted the motion of no-confidence.
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, senior leaders of the front had said. Earlier in the day, 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.
Although the no-confidence motion by the opposition parties is bound to fail the numbers test, they argue that they will win the battle of perception by cornering the government on the Manipur issue during the debate. They contend that it is also a strategy to make the prime minister speak in Parliament on the crucial matter even as the government has been insisting that Union Home Minister Amit Shah will reply to the debate on the Manipur situation. A no-confidence motion can be moved by any member of the Lok Sabha.
Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Lok Sabha specifies the procedure for moving 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.