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Lively debate discusses leaders’ performance in trust vote debate; try to determine who holds balance of power at the end of two walkouts, several speeches, a hug and a wink

Is it advantage BJP after Friday’s trust vote, or, with old friends turning foes, does an acid test lie before it, come 2019? Saturday’s Mudda examined this question.

The trust vote is significant not in terms of figures but in terms of the content of the speeches delivered and conduct of various leaders in the parliament. The TDP has been the most successful. It was after all the party that moved the no-confidence motion and its representative gave a good speech in the House, describing how Andhra has been discriminated against in favour of Telangana. Rahul Gandhi’s longest speech of 50 minutes was a strong one, so was the PM’s reply to it, said Govind Pant Raju, senior journalist.

The BJP wanted the vote to be an encounter between Narendra Modi and Rahul, observed Akshay Gaur, the moderator.

When I was a journalist myself, I would enjoy such days and look forward to hearing the speeches delivered in parliament. But Rahul made a mockery of the no-trust vote, said Mahesh Sharma, the BJP spokesperson. “We have answered you on the Rafale deal 77 times. Still, he had to raise the issue. Even the French president had to clarify his stance. It proves that Rahul lied on the floor of the parliament,” he added.

Was Rahul right to wink at his party colleague?

“We thank Rahul for raising some very important issues in parliament, such as unemployment, for instance. We have achieved our objective of exposing before the public the failures of the government,” said Umashankar Pandey, the Congress spokesperson.

Raju said Rahul broke protocol in hugging Modi and his behaviour was “not gandhigiri” but a “deceitful drama”. He also did not prepare himself before accusing Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman regarding the Rafale deal, according to him.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Chintu Sheikh felt Rahul had every right to comport himself in a frivolous manner so long as he fulfilled his role as an opposition leader by raising important issues in his speech in the parliament, especially those pertaining to farmers on which the Sena differs from BJP. Interestingly, the Sena and BJD had kept away from the vote. The NDA won 325-126 with AIADMK backing. Sheikh also said the PM was left with no choice but to parry Rahul’s oratorical blows, such was the quality of his speech and the impact of his gestures.

Sheikh was heard saying “abhi to sirf walkout hua hai, just wait and watch until 2019”.

Meanwhile, SP spokesperson Ajay Tripathi rued that his party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav was given only six minutes to speak. He still managed to make valuable points regarding farm loans and farmer suicides, Tripathi said. He also said that UP was denied a special package during SP rule on the plea that a state cannot get a package alone but Nitish Kumar’s Bihar and Chandrababu Naidu’s Andhra Pradesh have got packages alone, and so has Uttarakhand when it first broke away from Uttar Pradesh.

—Compiled by Sucheta Dasgupta

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