As expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the trust vote in Lok Sabha late Friday night, as no-confidence motion was rejected. The NDA got 325 votes while the opposition could muster only 126 votes. The total votes caste were 451, the speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced after a 12 hour-long raucous debate and voting in the house.
The debate was dominated by theatrics and jibes, accusations and emotions. The finale to the day-long debate was PM Modi’s speech in which he rebutted every claim and accusation. He said the motion was moved to destabilise the country. “To create uncertainty in the country, Congress has brought this no-confidence motion by misusing constitutional provisions,” Modi said.
In his characteristic style Modi remarked on Rahul Gandhi’s short journey to the treasury benches to hug him and indicated with hand gestures that Gandhi was in a hurry to be in the PM’s chair.
“What is the hurry to come to power,” he asked. “In the morning, the voting was not over, the debate was also not over. One member comes running to me saying- Utho Utho Utho..What is his hurry to come to power? Let me tell this member it is the people who elected us. That is how we have come here,” said Modi.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had hugged the PM at the end of his speech, clearly inspired by PM’s hug diplomacy. Modi in turn mocked Rahul Gandhi’s wink (to Jyotiraditya Scindia after hugging the PM) and said that the whole country watched “what the eyes did.” He also rebutted the Bhagidaar accusation saying that “We are chowkidar as well as bhaagidar but we are not Saudagar, not Thekedar. We are Bhaagidaar of the poor and the dreams of the people and are proud of it.”
Read PM’s speech here NaMo turns no-confidence motion into a Friday block bluster
While Rahul Gandhi’s speech trended on social media, his claims that French President Macron told him that there was no secrecy clause between New Delhi and Paris was refuted by the French government creating a huge controversy.
Rahul Gandhi started his speech in favour of the motion with Jumlas, ended with Jhappi and stirred the hornet’s nest on the way, inviting a privilege motion against himself. The issue was Rafale deal on which he claimed that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had lied to the nation. Anurag Thakur of the BJP demanded an apology from the government.
The Congress president also alleged that the government was close to India’s business tycoons and had failed to create enough jobs.
The BJP government defeated the no-confidence motion, moved in the parliament after 15 years, both through the voice vote and a division of votes. The no-confidence vote was moved in the house by the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and supported by other opposition parties including the Congress.
The BJP-led government was confident of getting a majority. However, more than proving numbers, this motion was a battle for perceptions ahead of key elections – assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Some highlights of the debate which preceded the voting are below:
- PM Modi: My appeal to the Congress is please do not bring politics in national security. You called the surgical strike a Jumla Strike. You can abuse me as much as you want. Stop insulting the Jawans of India. I will not tolerate this insult to our armed force.
- Modi: Congress has no faith in the Election Commission, Judiciary, in the RBI, in the International Agencies. They have confidence in nothing:
- Modi: I am a poor man from a backward class, I dont want look you in the eye, as history proves that those who have dared to do so, have been insulted like Charan Singh, Jai Prakash Narayan
- Rahul Gandhi: Galla and others are victim of 21st century political weapon called Jumla strike. Symptoms are: excitement, happiness, feeling of shock and 8-hour long speeches. Victims of Jumla are – farmers, youngsters, women and Dalit.”
- Rahul Gandhi: Jumla number one Rs 15 lakh in every bank account and No. 2 two crore jobs every year
- Rahul :“I am Congress and will convert everyone into Congress,” he walked towards the treasury benches and hugged the PM and Modi responded by shaking hands with him. Before moving towards the PM he said “You (BJP, RSS and PM Modi) can abuse me, you can call me Pappu, but I don’t have a speck of hatred against you. I will take out this hatred out of you and turn it into love.”
- Rahul: Sitharaman lied to the nation over Rafale Deal. The price of Rafale aircraft went up magically (jaadu se) to Rs 1600 crore, I spoke to the French Prez to clarify, who said there is no secret pact between Indian and French government, so Rakhsa Mantri clearly lied. Rahul’s comment prompted the French government to respond that the ‘security agreement of 2008 in this regard legally binds the two nations to protect classified information. Refuting Rahul’s claim, France added that the provisions of this agreement are also applicable to the Inter-Governmental Agreement on 36 Rafale aircraft, the negotiations for which concluded in September 2016.’
- Rajnath Singh: If a law is needed on mob lynching then we’ll make it. The centre will provide whatever support is needed by the states to stop lynching.
- Rajnath Singh: He referred to the Hindu Taliban and Hindu-Pakistan he said “do you want two-nation mentality to dictate India?” Pakistan is a mentality not a nation.
- Rajnath Singh: Those who are born with a silver spoon cannot help the farmers. The intention of our PM to develop the nation cannot be questioned
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