Congress president Rahul Gandhi may have talked about wanting to spread love and burying hate and then ended by giving a hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but all this did not go down well with the ruling BJP – or even Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
The BJP decided to move a privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi for making “false allegations” and “misleading the House” with regard to Rafale deal.
BJP leaders criticised his gesture of hugging PM Modi and Sumitra Mahajan also said it was not right of Rahul Gandhi to hug PM Narendra Modi. “The manner in which it was done was not right,” she said, “Decorum of the House should be maintained. I did not like it too. At that time he was sitting in the Prime Minister’s seat.”
So far, it has been PM Modi who is known for hugging heads of states across the world. However, BJP leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the Congress chief’s behaviour was childish.
“His behaviour was childish. He has grown old but it is unfortunate that he has not grown up. It is unfortunate that the president of Congress is so ill-informed and immature,” Kumar told reporters.
Beyond the hug, what BJP remembered was Rahul Gandhi’s scathing attack on the government. The hint of an allegation of a scam in Rafale deal hit them where it hurts, and Kumar said that his party will move a privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi for putting forth “falsehood and misleading the Parliament”.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s allegations, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the secrecy agreement with France was signed in 2008 and that the Rafale deal was also covered under it, reported ANI.
Union Minister Smriti Irani said, “We all have witnessed the lies propagated by Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha today. He had absolutely no proof but only political negative rhetoric and that itself has cost him in every election that he has fought.”
What Rahul Gandhi said about Rafale deal, as per media reports:
“I don’t know what happened, or who he spoke to, but the PM went to France and magically made the price of an aircraft Rs 16,000 crore. The Defence Minister said she will announce the deal but later said details cannot be provided as India has a secrecy pact with the French govt. I have met the French President and asked him if there’s any such pact between the two governments and he denied it. He also told me that he has no objection in saying this and the whole government can know about it.”
“The Defence Minister has clearly spoken an untruth. The fact of the matter is that the French President has personally told me that there is no secret pact between the two governments. Everybody understands the relationship the PM has with certain business people. Everybody can see the amount of money that goes into the marketing of India’s Prime Minister and everybody understands who it comes from. One of those people was given the Rafale contract and he benefitted thousands of crores from it. That contract was withdrawn from HAL and given to the gentleman who benefitted approximately Rs 40,000 crores. The PM must explain whether the Cabinet committee on security benefitted from this deal. Why has a businessman benefitted?”
Some reactions on Rahul Gandhi hugging PM Narendra Modi:
Tejashwi Yadav, RJD: Oh that wink my friend! Hit them hard where it hurts..Congratulations for unearthing their mines of lies & a fantastic speech @RahulGandhi
Anurag Thakur, BJP: Did anyone feel the earthquake? Well it was definitely felt by @INCIndia! @RahulGandhi ji spoke without any factual data & reduced it to merely becoming a laughing stock. You indeed make it memorable everytime you speak in the house
Omar Abdullah, National Conference: Hugs are against Parliamentary democracy & norms?
Harsimrat Kaur, Shiromani Akali Dal: Pappu ji, if you want to be Mumba Bhai, please go to Mumbai. “Ye sansad hai, ye Munna bhai ka pappi jhappi area nahin hai (This is parliament, this is not the place for a Munna Bhai hug.”
Shashi Tharoor, Congress: What an astonishing performance by @RahulGandhi. It was a game-changing speech, tearing apart the Govt ‘s claims & ending with that unscripted hug that has literally taken the BJP’s breath away #BhukampAaGaya