New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla, amidst the Monsoon session chaos acknowledged the no-confidence motion against the central BJP government on Wednesday. The no-trust motion was proposed by Gaurav Gogoi, a Congress MP on behalf of the newly formed I.N.D.I.A opposition alliance. The date of the debate will be decided at a later date.
The proposal was initiated to show the opposition’s utmost displeasure with the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the ethnic violence in Manipur. This is the first time in 20 years that a no-confidence motion was moved against the central ruling party. The last time, it was against the Atal Bihari Bajpayee-led NDA government in 2003.
Monsoon Session and Manipur Violence
The horrific video of two kuki girls being paraded naked in Manipur broke the internet right before the Monsoon sessions started on July 20th. Since then, each session has been purely chaotic. The continued lack of response from PM Modi till now, since the ethnic issue of Manipur started 4 months back, has been the prime accusation and the prime topic in every single session of the parliament. Both houses have been failing in function ever since. The newly formed opposition alliance- the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) of 26 tried to demand that PM Modi should speak on the strife-stricken state in various ways.
What happened till now
- AAP MP Sanjay Singh was suspended from the rest of the monsoon session of Rajya Sabha on July 23rd for violating the directives of the chair repeatedly while protesting on the ethnic issue. Opposition members walked out of the session in protest to revoke the unjust suspension.
- The ruling party has made it clear that they are ready to discuss any in accordance with the rules of the house. However, they wanted Union Home Minister Amit Shah to speak to address the parliament instead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla tried to mediate and reach a common ground with both the ruling and opposition parties. However, both parties have been stubborn.
- The Supreme Court also expressed its concerns regarding the issue. On Tuesday, SC stated that the Centre always takes extreme measures against states that are not amenable to it, and now when the ball is in their court they are desisting from it. It also mentioned that they cannot wash their hands off it.
What is a No-Confidence Motion
Under Article 75(3) of the Indian constitution, the Council of Ministers are collectively responsible for the smooth functioning of the Lok Sabha. Any Member of Parliament of the Lower House can introduce a no-confidence motion against the Council of Ministers, at any point in time, with the support of 50 other MPs. After discussions and debates on the shortcomings of the ruling government, if the motion has the majority of votes, the government is required to leave its office.
Should the Modi Government be worried?
The NDA has a total of 331 seats in the Lok Sabha, out of which 303 are BJP MPs. With the majority mark being 272, it would be impossible to show that the government has lost the majority mark in the lower house. I.N.D.I.A alliance has 144 MPs whereas neutral parties like Bharat Rashtra Samithi, YSRCP, and Biju Janata Dal have 70 MPs together. Even with the highly unlikely chance of the entire opposition coming together, it is impossible to pass the motion.
However, it is to be noted that this is the first time a no-confidence motion has been used as a strategy to compel the government to initiate discussion and mitigate a certain issue, despite knowing that they are in the minority no matter what.
The motion being the first action from opposition alliance is indeed smart and beneficial for everyone but the ruling party. This is the first time in a decade that the government had faced a strong-willed opposition and it is the same that any democratic country requires, for a smooth and fair functioning.