Context: Recently the joint sitting of the Parliament has been addressed by President of India and debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address was held in Lok Sabha.


What is Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address? Article 87 in the Indian Constitution provides for the special address by the President of India. This article provides that at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons. Such an Address is called ‘special address’, and it is also an annual feature. It is to be kept in mind that no other business is transacted till the President has addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together. This Address has to be to both Houses of Parliament assembled together. If Lok Sabha is not in existence and has been dissolved at the time of commencement of the first session of the year, and Rajya Sabha has to meet, then  Rajya Sabha can have its session without the President’s Address. In 1977, during the dissolution of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha had its session on 28 February 1977 without the President’s Address.)  What is President’s Address? It is the statement of policy of the Government and, as such, is drafted by the Government. The Address basically contains a review of various activities and achievements of the Government during the previous year and sets out the policies, projects and programmes which Government of the day wishes to pursue with regard to the important national and international issues. Further, the Address also indicates items of legislative business which are proposed to be brought during the sessions to be held in that year. What is Discussion on the Address by Motion of Thanks? The address of the president, which corresponds to the ‘speech from the Throne in Britain’, is discussed in both the Houses of Parliament on a motion called the ‘Motion of Thanks’. It is available to the members of Parliament in ordre to raise discussions and debates to examine and criticise the government and administration for its lapses and failures. Generally, 3 days are allotted for the discussion on the Motion of Thanks. If any of the amendments are put forward and accepted then the Motion of Thanks is adopted in the amended form. Here, Amendments may refer to matters that are contained in the Address as well as to matters which, in the opinion of the member, the Address has failed to mention.However, at the end of the discussion, the motion is put to vote. What is the significance of Motion of Thanks? Firstly, the Motion of Thanks must be passed in the House. Otherwise, it amounts to the defeat of the government. It is one of the ways through which the Lok Sabha can also express a lack of confidence in the government. The other ways for this are:

  • Rejection of a money bill.
  • Passing a censure motion or an adjournment motion.
  • The defeat of the government on a vital issue.
  • Passing a cut motion.

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