Since Independence, every ‘No-Confidence’ motion taken up by the Lok Sabha was defeated except one

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The BJP led NDA government faced its first ‘No-Confidence’ motion on 20th July and the motion was defeated with a huge margin. Data suggests that a total of 27 such motions were taken up since independence and every motion was defeated except one in 1979, when the motion could not proceed to the voting stage.

The BJP led NDA government faced its first ‘No-Confidence’ motion on 20th July and the motion was defeated with a huge margin. Using RTI, Factly obtained the data on all ‘No-Confidence’ motions since Independence.  Data suggests that every motion was defeated except one in 1979, when the motion could not proceed to the voting stage.

27 ‘No-Confidence’ motions in all
A total of 27 ‘No-Confidence’ motions were taken up by the Lok Sabha since independence. Two-third (18 of the 27) such motions were taken up between 1960 and 1980. The 3rd and the 4th Lok Sabha elections each saw six (6) such motions followed by four (4) in the 5th Lok Sabha.

The number of ‘No-Confidence’ motions has come down significantly in the last  three decades when only 5 such motions were taken up.  It has to be noted that not a single motion was taken up in the first 13 years after independence. The first ever ‘No-Confidence’ motion was taken up by the Lok Sabha in August 1963 when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister.
Indira Gandhi faced 15 of these 27 motions
Indira Gandhi, who was the Prime Minister (PM) for 15 years faced more than half of all the ‘No-Confidence’ motions till date. Out of the 27 motions till date, fifteen (15) of them were taken up during her time as the PM. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the PM for less than 2 years faced 3 such motions. P V Narasimha Rao, who ran a minority government for full 5 years also faced 3 such motions. Manmohan Singh is the only PM who did not face any such motion though he was in office for 10 years.

A total of 22 different members of Parliament proposed these 27 ‘No-Confidence’ motions. Jyotirmoy Basu of the CPI (M) proposed the highest (4) of these 27 motions. A B Vajpayee & Madhy Limaye proposed two motions each. Sonia Gandhi also proposed a ‘No-Confidence’ motion in 2003.

Every motion except one is defeated
Out of the 27 motions till date, 26 of them went to the stage of voting. The government led by Morarji Desai resigned in 1979 even before the voting on the ‘No-Confidence’ motion proposed by Y B Chavan was taken up. This is the only occasion when voting didn’t take place. Of the remaining 26 occasions, 22 of them were decided by ‘Division vote’ while the other four were decided by ‘voice vote’.
Though all the 22 motions were defeated, the margins were very different. The closest ever voting took place in 1993 on a motion proposed by Ajoy Mukhopadhyay of the CPI(M) when P V Narasimha Rao was the PM. In this particular case, the motion was defeated by only a margin of 14 (251 for and 265 against). In terms of margins, 9 out of the 22 motions were defeated by a margin of more than 200 votes while 10 other motions were defeated by a margin between 100 and 200 votes. The remaining three motions were defeated by a margin of less than 100 votes.

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