New Delhi: In its fourth year, the Narendra Modi government will face its first no-confidence motion today in the Lok Sabha. On the first day of the Monsoon Session on Wednesday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan admitted notices for the motion moved by the TDP and opposition parties against the government on issues like grant of special status to Andhra Pradesh, mob lynchings, atrocities against women and Dalits and dilution of a law meant for Scheduled Castes.
The TDP’s Kesineni Srinivas will move the no-confidence motion this morning in the Lok Sabha and the onus will now be on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to prove its strength in the House.
Here are 5 important things to know about no-confidence motions, their history and what can happen today:
1. A look at the numbers in Lok Sabha shows that the 535-member Lower House has 313 MPs belonging to the NDA while 222 belong to Opposition parties. The arithmetic, therefore, should ensure that the Modi government will win the no-trust motion by a thumping majority.
2. For the BJP, the no-confidence motion is a test of loyalty towards the NDA ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The AIADMK, for example, has hinted that it might not back the motion. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said the motion was moved by the TDP over an issue concerning Andhra Pradesh.
3. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has issued a whip to its Lok Sabha MPs to vote in favour of the motion against the Modi government.
4. The last no-confidence motion moved in Parliament was in 2003 when a Congress-led Opposition was defeated by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in a trust vote. That time the issue was related to the re-induction of defence minister George Fernandes in the Union Cabinet over corruption charges. In the heated debate, which went on till late night, Vajpayee had taunted the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi by asking her to “come to the maidaan (field) for an electoral bout".
5. Further up in history, Vajpayee had lost a no-confidence motion in 1999 by a single vote, the narrowest so far, after the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK withdrew its support. It led to fresh elections.