Friday, July 20, 2018
facebook

google plus
Rahul hugs PM Modi in Lok Sabha, says 'I’m Hindu'
Play
Rahul Gandhi hugs PM Narendra Modi after his speech in the Lok Sabha. (LSTV grab via PTI)

Rahul hugs PM Modi in Lok Sabha, says 'I’m Hindu'

20 Jul 2018 | 6:24 PM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had no escape in Lok Sabha on Friday when a confident Congress president Rahul Gandhi, after finishing his speech on the no-confidence motion, sprinted towards him and gave him a hug.

[ + read story ]

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had no escape in Lok Sabha on Friday when a confident Congress president Rahul Gandhi, after finishing his speech on the no-confidence motion, sprinted towards him and gave him a hug.

A visibly uncomfortable PM kept sitting and shrugged while Gandhi embraced him. But just when the Congress president turned around to leave, Modi called him back, patted his shoulder and shook his hand.

“This is the meaning of being a Hindu. This is what being an Indian means. For you I may be Pappu and you may hate me but I have no anger or rancour in my heart for you or for the Prime Minister. It is this love, which is latent in all of you and I will bring this love out of you,” said Gandhi after hugging the PM in front of a stupefied house.

Throughout his speech today, Gandhi leading the offensive against the PM, targeted the latter personally accusing him of “benefiting his business friends in the Rafale deal” and asking him why the cost of the Rafale aircraft was revised upwards and with whose permission.

At one point Gandhi referred to a personal meeting he had with the French President to claim that the Government has been “lying “ about having a secrecy pact with France as an excuse to not reveal the pricing mechanism of the fighter jets.

The accusations by Gandhi didn’t stop here with the Congress leader labelling direct and personal allegations of “quid pro quo” on the PM, who first smiled at the Amethi MP but later got serious as allegations kept coming.

“The PM is not a chowkidaar. He is a bhaagidaar. Everyone knows the relationship the PM has with businessmen. They pay for his marketing. One of his friends was given the Rafale contract and benefitted to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore. The contract was taken away from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. PM benefitted crores from this. He must explain why this contract was given to his businessman,” said Gandhi as the entire treasury bench erupted into pandemonium demanding evidence for the statements made.

Uproar gripped the house with the Speaker adjourning it for about seven minutes as the Government cited rules that disallow any MP from making allegations that are unsubstantiated.

As the house resumed Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister, rose to demolish Gandhi’s “secrecy clause” argument citing copies of government orders that showed the secrecy clause was actually signed by former defence minister of the Congress led UPA regime AK Antony.

“We are only following the clause. Also we have no evidence of the purported meeting between the MP and French President but the latter in an interview to Indian media had said he could not reveal details of commercial agreement regarding Rafale because there are competitors. Therefore what Mr Gandhi says about what the French President told him is immaterial,” Sitharaman said.

Gandhi used the occasion to turn the debate around for political posturing as he spiced up his act with a hug to the PM and earlier with a scripted speech which he began by that the BJP was using 21st century political weapon on everyone.

Looking at TDP Leader Jaydev Galla who moved the no confidence motion at 11 am and initiated  the debate demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh, Gandhi said, “You are also a victim of the BJP’s 21st century political weapon and you are not alone. There are many victims of BJP ‘s jumlas, the weapon .”

As a faintly smiling PM watched, Gandhi began counting his “jumlas” — jumla number one (Rs 15 lakh in every account), jumla 2 (two crore jobs to youth), jumla 3 (MSP) Et al.

With Gandhi unstoppable in his tirade of the PM, the ruling BJP remained mostly provoked into sloganeering and hooting with Parliamentary affairs Minister Ananth Kumar eventually quoting rules to say “MPs must give prior notice if they intend to make allegations against ministers or the PM and the MP must produce evidence of what he is saying.”

The Speaker admitted the Government’s point and told the house she will expunge from proceedings wherever she feels is unsubstantiated and defamatory.

Earlier today the BJD abstained from the house soon as the motion was taken up and the Shiv Sena was also conspicuous by its absence.

TDP’s Galla while initiating the motion thanked AAP, AIMIM, Congress, TMC, Left, Kerala Congress, NCP, RJD and SP for backing the motion.

In his nearly 1.5 hour initiation Galla attacked the PM for not keeping his word to Andhra and denying it the special status despite promising to award one during his election speeches in the stage in 2014.

“Should the word of the PM have no value,” Galla asked.

The initial part of the debate on the motion was all about political muscle flexing on both sides with the BJP speaker who preceded Gandhi using the event to list out the successes of BJP governments in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh and asking the opposition what the basis of their no confidence vote was.

“The opposition has no basis for this vote except to try and stop the victory march of PM Modi who is working for the poor and the marginalised,” said BJP’s member from Madhya Pradesh Rakesh Singh who laid the ground for the upcoming polls in the three BJP rules states and later for General elections 2019 as part of the party’s plan today.

While the BJP tore into the Congress for giving India one family rule for 48 years and doing nothing for the country, Congress chief Gandhi deftly employed the art of drama, theatre and political grandstanding to say what he wanted and to attack the PM for demonetisation, GST, lack of women’s safety and mob lynching.

This is the first time in India’s history that women have felt so unsafe, claimed the Gandhi scion inviting sharp rebuttals from his rival in Amethi and minister Smriti Irani who asked “Have you forgotten 2012?”

Overall, Gandhi’s pre planned “hug” of the PM became the dominant visual of the pre 3 pm debate on the motion with everyone talking about it and its potential impact.

An invariably confident PM personally looked acutely unnerved.

And though Minister Harsimrat Badal tried to make light of the act saying “this is Parliament and not Munna Bhai’s pappi-jhappi area”, Gandhi had played his game.

Not just that the Congress leader embarrassed Badal and many BJP members when he claimed in the Lok Sabha, “Many MPs of BJP just congratulated me saying I spoke very well. What I am saying is what everyone is feeling. Even Harsimrat ji was smiling when I was talking,” Gandhi said as voices from the saffron camp said “have you gone mad?”

The Congress president also said he was thankful to BJP and RSS for teaching him the meaning of being a Hindu and the meaning of Congress.

It now remains to be seen how the PM counters Gandhi’s theatre when he replies to the debate later this evening.

Though the Speaker has fixed 6 pm for the voting, proceedings will likely last till tonight midnight with each speaker overshooting the time allotted to make their point. 

Twitter abuzz with jokes on #hugplomacy, #pappukijhappi

Twitter abuzz with jokes on #hugplomacy, #pappukijhappi

20 Jul 2018 | 6:35 PM

NEW DELHI: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s surprise gesture to hug Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha after his speech during the no-confidence debate had Twitter abuzz today with jokes aplenty and the #pappukijhappi and #hugplomacy trending on the micro-blogging site.

LIVE: Opposition’s no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha

LIVE: Opposition’s no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha

20 Jul 2018 | 8:06 PM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon face “vote of no confidence” that ally-turned-rival Telugu Desam Party has moved in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha has already been adjourned until Monday.

Biggest ever mob lynching in India took place in 1984: Rajnath

Biggest ever mob lynching in India took place in 1984: Rajnath

20 Jul 2018 | 6:12 PM

NEW DELHI: Reiterating that the government condemns and disapproves all kinds of mob lynchings in the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asserted that the country witnessed such killings in 1984 and so the Congress “should not preach us on the issue and stop shedding crocodile tears”.

France responds to Rahul’s comments, says Rafale deal details classified

France responds to Rahul’s comments, says Rafale deal details classified

20 Jul 2018 | 8:01 PM

NEW DELHI: France on Friday said a security agreement it concluded with India in 2008 legally binds the two countries to protect the classified information relating to operational capabilities of defence equipment.

BJP moves privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi

BJP moves privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi

20 Jul 2018 | 6:54 PM

NEW DELHI: Targeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi for levelling "baseless allegations" against the government on the Rafale deal in his speech during the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the BJP has moved a privilege motion against him.

Woman alleges rape by 40 men for 4 consecutive days in Morni Hills

Woman alleges rape by 40 men for 4 consecutive days in Morni Hills

20 Jul 2018 | 5:16 PM

CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh Police have registered a case after a 22-year-old married woman alleged that she was gang-raped by around 40 persons at a village in Morni, Panchkula district.

Ruckus in SC as lawyers object to ‘Hindu Taliban’ comment by senior advocate Dhavan
Ayodhya case hearing

Ruckus in SC as lawyers object to ‘Hindu Taliban’ comment by senior advocate Dhavan

20 Jul 2018 | 8:08 PM

NEW DELHI: The hearing in the Ayodhya case on Friday witnessed a high drama as a group of lawyers took strong exception to "Hindu Taliban" comments made by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan.

Gurugram schoolboy killing: SC rejects bail plea of juvenile accused

Gurugram schoolboy killing: SC rejects bail plea of juvenile accused

20 Jul 2018 | 12:29 PM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the bail plea of a juvenile, accused of killing a seven-year-old boy in a private school in Gurugram.

Flight attendant suicide case: Friend says deceased was mulling divorce

Flight attendant suicide case: Friend says deceased was mulling divorce

20 Jul 2018 | 1:16 PM

NEW DELHI: A 39-year-old female flight attendant who died after she allegedly jumped off the terrace of a building in south Delhi recently was planning to divorce her husband and was even searching for houses, a friend of hers has claimed.

MiG-21 a relic that continues to fly

MiG-21 a relic that continues to fly

20 Jul 2018 | 1:44 PM

NEW DELHI: The crash of the MiG-21 fighter jet near Kangra in Himachal Pradesh again shows how slow-decision making had led to the obsolete MiG-21 staying on in Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet.

Collegium reiterates Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation to SC

Collegium reiterates Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation to SC

20 Jul 2018 | 5:21 PM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its decision to recommend Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph's name for elevation as apex court judge.

WhatsApp to cap message forwarding to 5 chats in India

WhatsApp to cap message forwarding to 5 chats in India

20 Jul 2018 | 8:08 PM

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp on Friday said its users in India will not be allowed to forward more than five chats at once and the company will remove the quick forward button that appears next to media messages.


The no-confidence motion

Going beyond the numbers game


Another door opens

SC order on Sabarimala upholds women’s right to pray

Memoirs of an upright cop


The debate, and vote, they trust

The debate, and vote, they trust

Ujjwal K Chowdhury

The no-confidence motion is part of strategic preparations for upcoming elections

Why industry opts to skip Punjab

Nirmal Sandhu

The state remains an uneasy place for doing business. The government seems to have little idea of what kind of industry the state needs. Any or every type of industry won’t do. Political and bureaucratic controls must also go.

more Opinion...
Delhi HC sets aside JNU’s order imposing penalty on Kanhaiya Kumar

Delhi HC sets aside JNU’s order imposing penalty on Kanhaiya Kumar

20 Jul 2018 | 6:57 PM

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside an order of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s appellate authority imposing a penalty on its former students union president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with a 2016 incident in which alleged anti-India slogans were raised at an event.

CITY FOCUS

Punjab Pastor held for raping follower

Punjab Pastor held for raping follower

20 Jul 2018 | 1:40 AM

ZIRAKPUR:The local police on Wednesday arrested a 36-year-old pastor from the Delhi airport on a charge of raping a woman follower, making a video of the act and then blackmailing her by threatening to upload the video on social networking sites.

NoPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. File photo

Make Chandigarh Punjab’s capital: Amarinder to Rajnath

20 Jul 2018 | 5:51 PM

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reiterating his demand for making Chandigarh the capital of the state.

No

No psychiatrist for drug de-addiction programme cell

20 Jul 2018 | 2:41 PM

CHANDIGARH:The state government may be putting in renewed efforts in its “war on drugs”, but Punjab’s Mental Health Cell — which handles the entire de-addiction programme — strikes a jarring note.

No

4.2 L Ludhiana properties, 1 L paid tax

20 Jul 2018 | 12:58 PM

CHANDIGARH:The geographic information system (GIS) survey, ordered by Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in all 10 municipal corporation townships of Punjab, has confirmed a huge revenue-generation potential by way of payment of property tax.

collapse stories
3 deaths in a month, heroin ruining lives in Fatehabad

3 deaths in a month, heroin ruining lives in Fatehabad

20 Jul 2018 | 12:04 AM

CHANDIGARH: With three persons losing their lives to suspected drug overdose in a little over a month, the menace is taking its toll on youths in Fatehabad district that touches Bathinda and Sangrur districts of Punjab.

IGP(Traffic) Rath in a jam, captured slapping youth

IGP(Traffic) Rath in a jam, captured slapping youth

20 Jul 2018 | 1:01 PM

SRINAGAR: A video showing Basant Rath, IGP (Traffic), slapping a youth in Srinagar has gone viral on social media. Shot more than two months ago, the video shows Rath hitting and slapping a youth at Lal Chowk following an argument.

14 dead, 17 hurt as bus rolls down gorge in Uttarakhand

14 dead, 17 hurt as bus rolls down gorge in Uttarakhand

20 Jul 2018 | 1:45 AM

DEHRADUN:Fourteen persons were killed and 17 others injured when the bus they were travelling in fell into a 300-metre-deep gorge today near Kirgani, on the Rishikesh-Gangotri highway, in Tehri district of Uttarakhand.

Health records of 1.5 million Singaporeans, including PM Lee, stolen in worst cyber attack

Health records of 1.5 million Singaporeans, including PM Lee, stolen in worst cyber attack

20 Jul 2018 | 5:12 PM

SINGAPORE: Hackers have stolen health records belonging to 1.5 million Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who was specifically targeted in the city state’s biggest ever data breach, authorities said on Friday.

Higher interest rate in US, trade issues pose capital flight risk for India: S&P

20 Jul 2018 | 10:33 AM

NEW DELHI: Trade issues and higher US interest rate could create outward capital flow pressure for India, but risks this year are more moderate compared with 2013, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday.

NoAnirban Lahiri in action during the first round at the 147th Open Championships in Carnoustie on Thursday. REUTERS

Lahiri in the rough

20 Jul 2018 | 2:19 AM

CARNOUSTIE (SCOTLAND):Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri carded a 5-over 76 on the opening day, leaving himself with a mountain to climb in his bid for a weekend appearance at the 147th Open Championships here today.

No

IPL boss Shukla’s aide accused of seeking bribes, resigns

20 Jul 2018 | 2:19 AM

NEW DELHI:A member of IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla’s personal staff was today forced to resign after he was suspended by BCCI following a sting operation, which alleged that he sought bribes to facilitate the selection of players in the Uttar Pradesh teams.

No

Divya settles for silver

20 Jul 2018 | 2:19 AM

NEW DELHI:Divya Kakran had a miserable outing as she was forced to settle for the silver medal at the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships underway at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

collapse stories
The miller’s grind

The miller’s grind

16 Jul 2018 | 12:40 AM
Better banking ahead

Better banking ahead

09 Jul 2018 | 12:48 AM
Toxicity level rising

Toxicity level rising

09 Jul 2018 | 12:48 AM
Big reform hits small businessesOne year of GST

Big reform hits small businesses

02 Jul 2018 | 1:06 AM
Don’t miss the nuancesBJMC vs BMM

Don’t miss the nuances

18 Jul 2018 | 12:02 AM
Travel on the road to big bucks

Travel on the road to big bucks

18 Jul 2018 | 12:02 AM
Following in parents’ footstepsCareer Hotline

Following in parents’ footsteps

18 Jul 2018 | 12:02 AM
Blockchain Developer NanodegreeCourse Chat

Blockchain Developer Nanodegree

18 Jul 2018 | 12:02 AM
  • SpectrumThe summer of content

    The summer of content

    Sacred Games on Netflix India, has shown beyond doubt that the streaming giant means business and plans to have a huge impact on the way that Indian viewers choose and view content.

  • Maximum City, maximum art

    The denizens of Mumbai have always been in the forefront of heritage conservation in their own myriad ways.

  • A garden hanging on in time

    A casual drive on Delhi roads will make you catch a glimpse of the many tombs, serais, baolis and monuments that the Capital boasts of.

more Spectrum...