The Lok Sabha on Friday witnessed a stormy, hostile mood as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government faced its first No Confidence Motion since 2014.
While hurling allegations, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Modi of not making an eye contact with him. However, amidst the charged up atmosphere, Prime Minister Modi was seen smiling as the Gandhi scion while he listed accusations against the government.
In a much unexpected gesture, Gandhi after ending his speech walked up to the Prime Minister. They hugged each other, and as Gandhi was returning to his seat,Prime Minister Modi was seen calling him back and they exchanged pleasantries. The gestures seemed to ease the tempers.
The No Confidence Motion was moved by the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) over Andhra Pradesh Special Category status issue. TDP leader Jayadev Galla began the Lok Sabhaproceedings on the motion lashing out at BJP-led Centre. He said that PM Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s regime is a saga of “empty promises”.
As the proceedings continued, the Lok Sabha witnessed a stormy time the moment Gandhi started speaking. Directly attacking PM over the Rafale deal, demonetisation and other issues, he went on to criticise the government’s failure in providing employment and containing increase in petrol prices.
Gandhi’s speech saw Treasury benches on feet, especially at the time when he spoke on the Rafael deal, taking the name of Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Gandhi accused that Sitharaman lied to the nation about the secrecy pact with the Government of France.
“When I met the President of France and asked him about the secrecy pact, he denied about it. Nirmala Sitharaman lied to the nation under PM’s pressure on Rafale. Nirmalaji, please tell the nation who is being helped? Why was HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited removed from the deal?” Gandhi said. He further accused that the deal was to favour a particular businessman.
Responding to Gandhi’s accusations by name, a charged up Sitharaman clarified the position on the deal.
Gandhi’s statement made the entire treasury bench protest with Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar even quoting a rule that a member cannot make unsubstantiated and derogatory remarks in the House against any other member. However, undeterred Gandhi went on to attack Modi saying that PM is not making an eye contact with him, and looking here and there.