NEW DELHI: Congress President Rahul Gandhi surprised everyone in the Lok Sabha as well as those watching the debate on the no-confidence motion on TV by hugging and shaking hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his speech on Friday. Rahul then went back to his seat and winked at his party colleagues. He had earlier used humour during his speech attacking the Modi government by claiming that a lady MP of the Shiromani Akali Dal had smiled at him while he was speaking.
PM Modi who listened to Rahul's speech with rapt attention was caught unawares after the Congress President walked up to him and tried to shake hands. As the Prime Minister tried to gesture and enquire, Rahul suddenly hugged Modi. After the hug, Modi once again spoke a few words with to him following which the two once again shook hands as the entire House broke into a smile.
Rahul concluded his speech by saying that he has no hatred towards Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) or PM Narendra Modi. "I may be "pappu" for you all but I have no hatred towards you (BJP)," said Rahul. He added that the BJP and its leaders have taught him the value of being a Congress leader.
He also made various allegations during his speech, each of which were met with loud protests from BJP lawmakers even as PM Modi kept on smiling. His allegations included the failure of the BJP-NDA government on employment for 2 crore youth, the Sino-India relationship and the Doklam crisis, demonetisation and the Rafale jet deal.
The no-confidence motion, which is the first against the Modi government, was moved by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and has been backed by most of the opposition parties. The NDA is confident of defeating the motion as it has the numbers on its side in the Lok Sabha.