Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi (who called himself “Pappu” in Parliament yesterday, Friday July 20), did the unthinkable – after ending his speech supporting the TDP-sponsored no-confidence motion (trust vote) against the Modi government, he walked up to the Prime Minister’s seat (corner seat in the first row on the extreme left side of the Lok Sabha treasury benches) and gestured PM Narendra Modi to get up – almost as if he expected the PM to obey his order.
When the PM did not respond to this “order” (or request, if you want to believe it as that), Pappu went closer to Modi and gave him a hug similar to the one actor Sanjay Dutt used in the superhit movie Munnabhai MBBS, and referred to as a “jhappi“.
When Gandhi started walking away after the hug, the Prime Minister gestured to him to come back. Pappu returned and Modi gave him a pat on his back, almost like a blessing from an Indian elder to a younger. A few minutes later, Pappu was seen winking at someone sitting close to him in the third row of the opposition benches.
This is the same Pappu who has been criticising the PM for his “huglomacy” with major world leaders.
During his speech, Pappu had claimed that there was corruption by the Modi government in the government-to-government deal for the purchase of 36 French-made Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force. Pappu claimed that the French President – Emmanuel Macron – had personally told him that the price of the deal was not a secret, and could therefore be disclosed by the Indian government.
Immediately, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out that, as per the original deal signed by A.K. Antony, the Defence Minister in Pappu’s own UPA government, in 2008, there was a secrecy clause.
A couple of hours later, the Government of France confirmed what Sitharaman had said inside Parliament, thus calling Pappu’s statement a bluff.
Later in the evening, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan chastised Gandhi for hugging the Prime Minister by walking up to his chair, calling it an insult to Parliament.
Gandhi’s entire speech was full of unsubstantiated allegations against PM Modi or his government, and was very childish, including his gestures. Many of Congress party’s allies criticised Pappu’s childish behaviour / intellectual ability.
The Modi government won the trust vote 325-126, which was 10 votes more than the number of seats the NDA has in the Lok Sabha, showing that the NDA had gained allies during this process.