A no-confidence motion was moved and accepted today in parliament for the first time since 2003.
The single-line motion was moved by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the Lok Sabha. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted it. The Congress had also put in notice for a no-trust motion.
A notice for a no-trust motion needs the support of at least 50 MPs.
“The BJP and the NDA will face the no-confidence motion,” said Ananth Kumar, parliamentary affairs minister on Tuesday.
The government is in no real threat as the BJP-led coalition enjoys a comfortable majority. The no-trust motion is aimed mainly at scoring political points at a time all parties are preparing for state and national elections.
In 2003, then leader of opposition Sonia Gandhi had moved a no-confidence motion against the BJP government of Atal Behari Vajpayee. The motion, moved ahead of elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, was defeated by a mile.
In 2008, the Congress-led coalition faced a confidence vote – in which the government tests whether it still has enough numbers in parliament – after the Left pulled out support over the India-US nuclear deal.
To ensure numbers, both the ruling coalition and the opposition summoned MPs who were unwell or even in prison. The government won by 19 votes.
The BJP-led coalition faced a no-confidence vote in 1999 after J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK withdrew support. The Vajpayee government lost by one vote, the narrowest margin ever in the history of parliament.