Congress President Rahul Gandhi as he hugs Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his speech in the Lok Sabha on ‘no-confidence motion’ during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Friday, July 20, 2018. (LSTV images via PTI) 

No-Confidence Motion: The Day Lok Sabha Worked, Hugged And Winked

A short, animated speech by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. A long, dramatic rebuttal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all that happened in between in the Lok Sabha on July 20 as it debated the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister. This is a short version of the drama, debate, hugs, winks and votes.

No-Confidence Motion: The Day Lok Sabha Worked, Hugged And Winked

“Call Me Pappu...”

In a short but animated speech Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused the Modi government of “jumla strikes”. He raised the issues of joblessness, opacity in the Rafale aircraft deal, crony capitalism, lack of empathy for farmers, GST implementation failures and mob lynchings. He claimed the “country is convulsed by anger that’s emanating from BJP’s fear of losing power”.

He ended by insisting that this hate has reminded him of the true meaning of being a Hindu and a Congressman. “BJP hates me, calls me 'Pappu', but I don’t hate the BJP the least bit,” Gandhi postured. He then walked across to the Prime Minister and hugged him, walked back and closed with a wink.

Utho, Utho, Utho...

Prime Minister Modi was the penultimate speaker. In a speech that lasted almost 90 minutes Modi poked fun at the Congress’ weakened national position. “This is not the government’s floor test,” Modi said. “This is the floor test of Congress and its allies.”

This motion has been brought with an arrogance of “Modi hatao” he said. They (Congress and allies) are desperate to unseat me, but only the people of India can do so, he added.

Modi also defended his government’s track record over the past four years. He said the economy was in bad shape when his government took over and blamed the mounting non-performing loans on the UPA’s “telephone banking” - a jibe at the politicisation of bank lending activities.

Referring to Gandhi’s behaviour as “bachkana” or childish, Modi hit back at Gandhi’s accusation that the prime minister wasn’t able to look him in the eye.

Aap To Naamdaar Hai, Hum To Kaamdaar Hai

For a blow-by-blow account of the no-confidence motion debates read this blog.