By Rohit and Jhalak Some Rajya Sabha seats will be contested over the next year. The Presidential elections are also scheduled to be held in 2012. The recent assembly elections has implications for both these elections. The Presidential elections will depend on the strenght in the assemblies, in Lok Sabha and in Rajya Sabha (which could change over the next year). Implications for Rajya Sabha Elections The composition of Rajya Sabha may undergo some changes. A total of 12 Rajya Sabha seats are up for election in 2011. This includes 6 seats from West Bengal, 3 from Gujarat and 1 each from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa. Another 65 seats, across 18 states, go for elections in early 2012. The largest chunk of these seats comes from UP(10), followed by Andhra Pradesh(6), Bihar(6) and Maharashtra(6). Since Rajya Sabha members are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State, a change in the composition of the assembly can affect the election outcome. We used the current assembly compositions to work out scenarios for Rajya Sabha in 2011 and 2012. There could be alliances between parties for the Rajya Sabha elections, so we have estimated a range for each grouping (Scenario I and II) for 2012. See Notes  and .
|Parties/ Coalitions||2010||Scenario 2011||Scenario 2012|
Implications for the election of the President The President is elected in accordance with the provisions of Article 54 and 55 of the Constitution. The electorate consists of the elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and all Legislative Assemblies. Each MP/ MLA's vote has a pre-determined value based on the population they represent. The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The winning candidate must secure at least 50% of the total value of votes polled. (For details, refer to this Election Commission document). There is no change in the Lok Sabha composition (unless there are bye-elections). Position in Legislative Assemblies After the recent round of assembly elections, the all-India MLA count adds up to:
The above numbers can now be used to estimate the value of votes polled by each coalition. See Note :
|Value of votes cast||Scenario - 1||Scenario - 2|
|Min. to be elected||549,442||549,442|
The UPA has the highest value of votes polled but the figure is not sufficient to get its candidate elected. Assuming that there are at most three candidates with significant support (UPA, NDA, and Left/Third Front), the winner will be the one who manages to bridge the gap with second preference votes. On this factor, the UPA backed candidate is likely to hold the edge over others. Notes:  At present, there are four vacant seats in Rajya Sabha (1 Maharashtra, 1 TN, 1 WB and 1 Nominated). It is assumed that all these seats are filled up in 2011.  Three of the 11 nominated members in the current Rajya Sabha have declared their party affiliation as INC. These have been included in the UPA count in the above analysis. For the sake of simplicity, it is assumed that members who get nominated in 2011/ 12 are not aligned to any party/ coalition.  The above analysis is based on the assumption that the next set of assembly elections happen after the Presidential election.
Discussion on the first no-confidence motion of the 17th Lok Sabha began today. No-confidence motions and confidence motions are trust votes, used to test or demonstrate the support of Lok Sabha for the government in power. Article 75(3) of the Constitution states that the government is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha. This means that the government must always enjoy the support of a majority of the members of Lok Sabha. Trust votes are used to examine this support. The government resigns if a majority of members support a no-confidence motion, or reject a confidence motion.
So far, 28 no-confidence motions (including the one being discussed today) and 11 confidence motions have been discussed. Over the years, the number of such motions has reduced. The mid-1960s and mid-1970s saw more no-confidence motions, whereas the 1990s saw more confidence motions.
Figure 1: Trust votes in Parliament
Note: *Term shorter than 5 years; **6-year term.
Source: Statistical Handbook 2021, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; PRS.
The no-confidence motion being discussed today was moved on July 26, 2023. A motion of no-confidence is moved with the support of at least 50 members. The Speaker has the discretion to allot time for discussion of the motion. The Rules of Procedure state that the motion must be discussed within 10 days of being introduced. This year, the no-confidence motion was discussed 13 calendar days after introduction. Since the introduction of the no-confidence motion on July 26, 12 Bills have been introduced and 18 Bills have been passed by Lok Sabha. In the past, on four occasions, the discussion on no-confidence motions began seven days after their introduction. On these occasions, Bills and other important issues were debated before the discussion on the no-confidence motion began.
Figure 2: Members rise in support of the motion of no-confidence in Lok Sabha