DMPQ-What is No Confidence motion? Is it really an effective tool to put a check on executive?

A no-confidence motion is a parliamentary motion which is moved in the Lok Sabha against the entire council of ministers, stating that they are no longer deemed fit to hold positions of responsibility due to their inadequacy in some respect or their failure to carry out their obligations. No prior reason needs to be stated for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.

Neither a confidence motion nor a no-confidence motion is mentioned in the Constitution. But Article 75 spells it out that “the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People”. This implies that the majority of Lok Sabha members must support the prime minister and his cabinet.

The motion is admitted for discussion when a minimum of 50 members of the house support the motion. 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.

Overall, 27 no-confidence motions have been moved so far, of these, 23 were defeated, 3 were passed and one did not reach to the voting stage as Prime Minister Morarji Desai resigned during the discussion itself.

With the anti-defection law, the vote of no-confidence has no relevance left in case the majority party has an absolute majority in the House. If the majority party (with an absolute majority in the House) issues a whip to party members to vote in favor of the Government, then it is impossibleto remove the Government by a no-confidence motion. Hence the no-confidence exercise of House merely becomes the no-confidence exercise of the Party.

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