Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Rahul Gandhi responds to French govt statement on Rafale deal

Rahul Gandhi responds to French govt statement on Rafale deal

Gandhi's no-holds barred attack at Modi on a range of issues including the controversial Rafale jet deal in his hour-long speech during a debate on the no-confidence motion against the government often sparked loud protests from the treasury benches, but it was his walk across the green-carpeted Well of House at the end to hug Modi that left nearly everyone, not the least the prime minister, surprised.

After PM Modi's speech, the government was able to easily defeat the opposition-backed no-confidence motion 325-126.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude to all the parties who supported the NDA government in the Lok Sabha today.

Startled by Gandhi's gesture, Modi froze in his seat but later called Gandhi back to his seat and shook hands, smiling.

Seema Mustafa, a political analyst, said Rahul Gandhi's hugging of Modi was a reminder to him that he was in the habit of embracing "reluctant and willing leaders across the world and today he was caught off guard" by Gandhi. But I don't hate you or have even slightest of anger for you.

Attacking the government on the Rafale deal, Gandhi said, "I met the gentleman (French President) in Delhi and asked him about the secrecy clause (in the Rafale deal)".

Union Minister and BJP leader Ananth Kumar, criticised the Congress President for his act and called Gandhi "childish".

According to details available with Lok Sabha secretariat, six no-confidence motions were moved in the third and the fourth Lok Sabha, the maximum. "My best wishes are with you", PM Modi said.

Not only this, Prime Minister Modi also dragged UPA President and Rahul Gandhi's mother Sonia Gandhi into this by calling her arrogant to have claimed that numbers in the Parliament are in Congress' favour.

The Prime Minister was taken aback at first and gestured as if asking Gandhi why he was there.

The Congress chief projected the Modi government as one working for 15-20 richest people and industrialist while Dalits, tribals, farmers, minorities, youths and women felt left out.

Earlier, Rahul, leading the Congress offensive, alleged that the government's deal with France for 36 Rafale fighter jets was massively overpriced and its claim that details could not be revealed was an "untruth".

Asserting that some people are indulging in "negative" politics, PM Modi said he was not doing politics of appeasement or vote bank. As for the opposition, regional party Biju Janata Dal also said it would abstain from the vote. Reading out from BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha manifesto, Salim said while Modi promised to bring back black money, "that has not happened".

Modi, who initially looked surprised, obliged.

He said the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had created Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. "Andhra Pradesh was divided for political gain", he added. A total of 451 MPs were present and voted in the House and the majority mark required in a House with an effective strength of 534 MPs came down to 226.

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