Lok Sabha is currently debating a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led NDA government. Today’s no-confidence motion, the 27th in Parliamentary history, is the first to be admitted in 15 years. The last was in 2003 when the Congress party moved a no-confidence motion against prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Twenty-six no-confidence motions have been moved in parliamentary history. A record 15 no-confidence motions were moved against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. There were three each against the governments headed by Lal Bahadur Shastri and P V Narasimha Rao followed by Moraraji Desai and Atal Bihari Vajpayee who faced two each.
Barring one no-confidence motion, which remained inconclusive, all the motions in the past had been defeated.
The first no-confidence motion in the history of Lok Sabha was moved against Jawaharlal Nehru by J B Kripalani, also known as Acharya Kripalani, in August 1963. That debate had lasted 21 hours over four days. The second one was moved in 1964 against Lal Bahadur Shashtri by N C Chatterjee, an Independent MP.
Lok Sabha debated 15 no-confidence motions from 1964-75. Of these, three were tabled against Lal Bahadur Shashtri while 12 were against Indira Gandhi. Between 1981 and 1982, Indira Gandhi faced three more no-confidence motions in the parliament. One of the motions against Indira Gandhi was brought in by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in March 1967. Congress government has faced 23 no-confidence motions till now.
Morarji Desai faced two motions in his regime. Brought by Congress leader Y B Chavan in July 1979, it led to the resignation of the Prime Minister even before it could be voted. Incidentally, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani were ministers in the Desai Government.
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Narasimha Rao government faced two motions in 1992 – one in July and another in December. The first motion moved against his government was tabled by Jaswant Singh which he defeated by a margin of 46 votes. While the second no-confidence motion was moved in July 1993 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the discussion went on for 21 hours. The Rao regime faced its third no-trust vote in July 1993 which was moved by Ajay Mukhopadhyay of CPI. Rao defeated the motion with a margin of 14 votes.
In 1996, when BJP was the single largest party in Lok Sabha, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became PM but resigned after 13 days before the confidence motion could be put to vote. In mid-1999 Vajpayee who led the NDA government, resigned after thirteen months when AIDMK withdrew support from the government. The government lost the vote of confidence by a single vote.
The last one was against Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 2003 which was moved by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Vajpayee defeated the motion for which the discussion lasted for about 23 hours.