No-Confidence Motion: Rahul Gandhi Hug startles PM Modi

rahul gandhi and MOdi

The 2018 no-confidence motion debate in Lok Sabha Friday outlined the broad battlelines of the 2019 general elections. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi unveiled his narrative for the Opposition parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the tone and tenor of the likely BJP electoral pitch.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in his sharpest attack on the Prime Minister, on subjects ranging from the Rafale deal to GST (Goods and Services Tax), demonetisation and foreign policy, had said repeatedly: “You can’t look me in the eye.” The PM, sitting directly across, smiled.

Rahul got up from his seat and went to give a surprise hug to PM saying “You may call me Pappu, but I don’t hate you.” Following Rahul’s surprising action, PM hurriedly called him back to shake his hand, pat him on the back and whisper in his ear. Rahul returned to his seat and, seemingly pleased with himself, winked to a colleague.

The sequence of actions between Congress and BJP leaders has set off an avalanche of memes on social media.

The hug was the closing to a vehement hour-long attack on Modi, accusing him of favouring businessmen with defence deals and loan waivers rather than farmers. Rahul touched upon topics as wide-ranging as women’s safety and GST, but spent the bulk of his time on allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal, accusing defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman of “speaking an untruth” as she had refused to divulge details citing a secrecy agreement with France.

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