Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of being a "bhagidar" (collaborator), instead of a "chowkidar", in alleged graft in the Rafale deal and saying the people were the victims of his "gimmickery".
Gandhi's no-holds barred attack at Modi on a range of issues including the controversial Rafale jet deal in his hour-long speech during a debate on the no-confidence motion against the government often sparked loud protests from the treasury benches, but it was his walk across the green-carpeted Well of House at the end to hug Modi that left nearly everyone, not the least the prime minister, surprised. With the proceedings going on late into the night, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan put the motion to vote.
New Delhi: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) members walked out of Lok Sabha Friday just ahead of the discussion on the no-confidence motion against the NDA government "in the interest of Odisha", saying it was dissatisfied with both the BJP and the Congress.
The Prime Minister had remained seated as he called Rahul Gandhi back, pulling him by his sleeve, said something to him and patted him.
When asked about how was the prime minister's speech while he was coming out out of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi said it was "weak".
But the sharpest attack from Mr. Gandhi was on the allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal targeting the government's claim of providing a corruption free government. Gandhi later resumed his speech and at the end of it unexpectedly walked to where Modi was sitting and shook hands and hugged him. Modi called the no-confidence motion "a forced test of the Congress allies" and claimed that some people harboured a desire to take his place.
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Earlier in the day, Gandhi after ending his speech moved across the floor to get to the treasury benches to the Prime Minister. "India will be watching us closely".
"We have been working with "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas" mantra", he said. "He told me that no such pact was signed between the two countries", Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha. He added that while Indian soldiers held the fort against the Chinese soldiers PM Modi let them down by not raising the issue with the Chinese side. You hate me, I maybe "Pappu" for you.
He said the major opposition party had brought the no-trust motion "to spread instability in the country".
He said in the current atmosphere where everything and everyone have been divided by the Modi government on grounds of religion, caste, colour, creed, region, language and even food habits, "Rahulji set a new political discourse for rebinding the country by affection and cohabitation, on the lines of what Mahatma Gandhi had said". These states are peaceful and prospering.
"On the other hand, the Congress divided Andhra Pradesh behind closed doors and their conduct then was shameful". A total of 451 MPs were present and voted in the House and the majority mark required in a House with an effective strength of 534 MPs came down to 226.