No-confidence motion(NCM) in the Indian parliamentary system is a crucial mechanism to test the government's majority in the Lok Sabha. It is based on Article 75(3) of the Indian Constitution which says that the Lok Sabha holds the Council of Ministers accountable as .
There is a procedure in the Lok Sabha rules for it in Rule 198.
In the Lok Sabha, a member has to submit a written notice for a no-confidence motion before 10 am.
NCM need not mention any reasons for moving the motion.
The speaker has no power to admit or reject it. The power is with the Lok Sabha itself.
The Speaker reads out the motion in the Lok Sabha. If the motion garners the support of at least 50 members, the speaker sets a date for the discussion of the motion.It has to be within 10 days after the motion is admitted by the Lok Sabha.MPs will speak and the Prime Minister will reply before a vote takes place. If the government gets a majority of the votes polled, it survives.
If the no-confidence motion is successful, it has to lead to the government's resignation.In that case, a new government has to be formed .If that is not possible, general elections have to be held for a new Lok Sabha.
The fact that the August 2023 NCM will be the 28th no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha since India's Independence reflects the importance of this parliamentary tool in holding the government accountable and ensuring that it maintains the confidence of the majority in the house.
In a single Lok Sabha session(budget session,monsoon session,winter session,special session etc), there can be only one NCM.
There is another motion called the `confidence motion' that is identical but comes from the government itself when there is a perception that the government no longer enjoys majority in the Lok Sabha. Three Prime Ministers lost the confidence motions that they themselves initiated.
Thrice governments have fallen during the `confidence motions' - the V P Singh government in 1990, H D Deve Gowda government in 1997 and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999.The last one having lost by a single vote.
There is another related concept-constructive no confidence motion`: the existing government that loses an NCM can be replaced by another government but elections can not be forced otherwise. It ensures stability but at the cost of responsibility.