Indian opposition leader Gandhi startles bitter foe Modi with a hug

Glen Norman
July 21, 2018

It is expected that the Shiv Sena, which has slammed its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a number of issues, will vote in favour of the Narendra Modi BJP government during the #NoConfidenceMotion (no-confidence motion) in the Lok Sabha today on Friday.

The government has expressed confidence of defeating the motion.

The AIADMK supported the government and voted against the no-confidence motion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

The Congress's charge was led by President Rahul Gandhi, who attacked the government over demonetisation, women's safety in India, GST and the Rafale deal. Modi was first seen getting annoyed by this unwanted hug, but perhaps he changed his facial expression after realising that he was being watched by millions across India.


"He (Rahul) says I can not see eye to eye with him".

Taking on Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on Rafale, PM Modi said, "They raised Rafale issue and I was surprised..."

Modi and Shah were "different types of politicians" as they can not afford to lose power unlike the Congress which is okay to losing it and being in and out of power. "Youth in India trusted Prime Minister Narendra Modi". Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the details of the deal can not be revealed since a secrecy agreement was signed in 2008 with France and Rafale deal was also covered in it. A seat away, LK Advani tried to keep a straight face with half of it covered by his hand BJP ministers and MPs standing in back rows looked perplexed, even as the Opposition benches cheered.

Congress President also thanked PM Modi for showing him the importance of Congress. Mr Gandhi said, referring to a string of mob lynching of Dalits, once called untouchables, and Muslims by Hindu-nationalist vigilante groups.


Resuming his speech after a break forced by disruptions, Gandhi said members of the ruling coalition also appreciated his speech when the House was adjourned briefly. In his marathon address, which lasted for about an hour and a half, the prime minister lambasted the Opposition and enumerated the successes of the NDA government.

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, also took to Twitter to appreciate Gandhi's speech and jaw-dropping hugging gesture. Earlier, the Lok Sabha had seen much drama, as Congress president Rahul Gandhi had walked across the aisle to hug Modi immediately after a fiery speech in which he slammed the government on several counts.

Modi and Gandhi's running war of words has escalated since polls showed a decline in the BJP's popularity, fanning hopes of an opposition comeback in next year's elections after a Congress rout in 2014.


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