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No-Confidence motion: After 12-hour-long debate Modi-led NDA government wins trust vote by 325-126

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 21, Jul 2018, 10:54 am IST | UPDATED: 21, Jul 2018, 11:33 am IST

No-Confidence motion: After 12-hour-long debate Modi-led NDA government wins trust vote by 325-126 New Delhi: After 12-hour-long debate, Motion of No-Confidence defeated by voice and division vote. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tabled the motion for a voice vote first, after which she ruled that the Treasury benches have won the poll. Following this, the division vote was recorded with the help of automatic vote recording system. The Modi government sailed through the vote with 325 votes. The Opposition gathered 126 votes against the government.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in Lok Sabha "weak", while former party chief Sonia Gandhi dubbed it as "old rhetoric".

"Instead of replying on the questions raised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and various other Opposition leaders, Narendra Modi speech his high on rhetoric and has very less substance in it, the Congress party said.
PM Narendra Modi, in his speech, had said the Congress party had misused the no-confidence motions to spread instability in the country to ensure that the Gandhi family remains in power. When asked about how was the prime minister's speech while he was coming out of Parliament, Rahul said it was "weak". Sonia Gandhi told reporters that the prime minister's speech was "old rhetoric".

"We posed questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Rafale deal, Nirav Modi etc but he didn't answer any. His speech was 'dramebaazi.' He didn't say anything for people of Andhra Pradesh. He was telling us what previous governments have done and not what his government has done in foru years," Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha,  Mallikarjun Kharge said.

"It is not about majority, it is about morality. Morality won today. We wanted to showcase the failures of Modi and his government. You take unemployment, farmers distress, economic slowdown and more. He has failed on every aspect and lost trust of people of the country," K Srinivas told ANI outside Parliament.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu says, "Disappointed with the proceedings in Parliament. Whole of Andhra was waiting for justice to be done. Prime Minister Modi again spoke as if Andhra Pradesh was not part of India."

Taking to Twitter, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said that Modi should tell the nation why the government is 'hiding' data on farmer suicides. "If Modi has any desire to answerserious concerns, he should reveal why his govt is suppressing data on farmer suicides? Or lynchings in the past four years," Modi said.

Chandrababu Naidu said, "Instead of doing justice to Andhra Pradesh, the prime minister used the debate to politically attack me. He alleges that Opposition is arrogant. It is the prime minister who has arrogance."

"It is sad to see a man of the stature of the prime minister is talking irresponsibly. The Centre is showing negligence because we don’t have numbers," Naidu said.  

Taking to Twitter, DMK working president MK Stalin attacked rival AIADMK for supporting the government. He said: "Support for Modi Govt in #NoConfidence despite NEET, 15th Finance Commission, GST, Hindi imposition and communal politics is further proof of the quid pro quo arrangement between AIADMK and BJP. I-T raids on Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami's family have achieved their objective."

In a stunning act of real life Gandhigiri that left the entire Lok Sabha and a nationwide television audience dumbstruck, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday walked across the aisle and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to underline he felt "not an iota of anger, not an iota of hatred" towards his adversary and that the Congress stood for love and brotherhood, the very essence of India.

An unmoved Narendra Modi, in his reply a few hours later, launched a vitriolic attack against Rahul, his "family" and his party. He accused Rahul of unseemly ambition for walking up to the Prime Minister's seat in Parliament and seeking his embrace, and went to the extent of mocking Sonia Gandhi's Italian accent.

With its numerical majority, the government defeated the no-confidence motion with ease, 325 to 126. But even members of the treasury benches would privately concede that Rahul scored a much bigger victory - not just for his trenchant critique of the Modi government's broken promises and questionable deals, such as the Rafale fighter aircraft purchase from France, but for the manner in which he succinctly delineated the battle between the forces of hate and love being waged in the country.

Many expected Modi to rise to the occasion and depart from his prepared script, to soar above the bar set by Rahul's unprecedented gesture and be statesman-like in his response.

But the Prime Minister, looking initially rattled, soon slipped into familiar mode, delivering a speech that lasted an hour and a half but said not a single thing the nation has not heard many, many times before.

He repeatedly accused the "family" of "arrogance". But the Prime Minister himself stuck to his standard script of taking credit for all the progress and achievements made by India, and arrogantly asked the Opposition to bring another no-confidence motion against his government in the year 2024.

Rahul, who spoke for less than half the time taken by Modi, appeared more confident and more at ease in Parliament than at any time before.

He said millions of people in India were victims of a 21st-century political weapon called the " jumla strike". This government had offered one jumla (hyperbole) after another, he said, and listed Modi's campaign promises of transferring Rs 15 lakh to every bank account and of creating two crore jobs a year as instances.

He iterated his "suit boot ka sarkar" jibe, insisting that the Modi government favoured a handful of rich businessmen at the cost of the farmers and workers, and that both the demonetisation and the mishandling of the goods and services tax had affected small traders and businesses and hurt the poor.

But his most lethal attack was on the Rafale deal. He said the UPA government had negotiated the deal at Rs 520 crore per aircraft, but after Modi's visit to France - with a businessman in tow - the price had shot up to Rs 1,600 crore apiece.

The businessman, who has "never ever built an aircraft", benefited from the deal to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore, Rahul said. He demanded that the Prime Minister explain why the contract (to assemble the aircraft in India) was taken away from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and given to a friendly businessman.

He questioned defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement that she could not disclose the cost of the aircraft because of a secrecy pact between India and France. He said the French President had told him there was no such agreement.

Sitharaman, and later Modi, denied Rahul's charges and France too put out a statement confirming a confidentiality pact in the Rafale deal. The statement was silent on whether that included not disclosing the price of the aircraft.

The Prime Minister slammed Rahul for making "childish" allegations that were completely baseless, and said the Rafale agreement was between two sovereign nations. Yet he refused to address the central charge: that the price had shot up exponentially, and that a private firm with no domain expertise in the aviation industry was a key beneficiary.

It was towards the end of his speech that Rahul spoke of the relentless attacks on the Dalits, Adivasis, minorities and other hapless sections and said such attacks "are not an attack on an individual but an attack on Ambedkarji's Constitution, an attack on this House".

Rahul went on to link the acts of wanton hate and violence directly with the persona and politics of Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. He sought to make a distinction not between the BJP and the Congress but between the Modi-Shah duo and the rest of the political class.

"The Prime Minister and the president of the BJP are (a) very different kind of politician. They are not like any of us. We are okay if we lose power. We can see ourselves in government or out of power... but the Prime Minister and the president of his party simply cannot afford to lose power because the moment they lose power, other processes will start against them."

Therefore, the two acted out of fear and "this fear generates anger", and it's this anger "that the whole of India is feeling", Rahul said.

And there are many --- even in the ruling party --- who want to counter this feeling and that is why the Opposition is uniting to defeat Modi in the coming elections, he suggested.

While speaking of this "anger" seeping through India from the very top, Rahul suddenly became emotional and said: "You might think my heart is full of anger and hatred towards the Prime Minister. But I can say this from my heart that I am grateful to the Prime Minister, I am grateful to the BJP, I am grateful to the RSS (because) they have taught me what it means to be Congress, what it means to be a Hindustani --- that no matter how much you are abused and attacked, your heart must remain full of love."

Looking at the Prime Minister, Rahul folded his hands and thanked him again for teaching him the meaning of what it is to be Hindu. Directly addressing Modi, Rahul went on to say, " Aaapke andar mere liye nafrat hai, aapke andar mere liye gussa hai, aapke liye mein Pappu hoon, aap alag alag gaali de sakte ho, magar mere andar aap ke khatir itna sa bhi gusssa, itna sa bhi nafrat nahi hain. Mein Congress hoon (You have a lot of hate towards me, you have a lot of anger towards me, to you I am a Pappu, you can call me all sorts of names, but I haven't an iota of anger, an iota of hatred towards you. I am Congress)."

Asserting that he was determined to bring out the love that resided in the heart of every Indian, he walked across the aisle to embrace Modi. But the Prime Minister chose to spurn that offer and confirm that hate and anger, laced with mockery and ridicule, would continue to be his chosen weapon to take on the Opposition, in Parliament and outside.

If Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared nonplussed by Rahul Gandhi’s hug, the BJP later deployed minister Ananth Kumar to describe the universal gesture of goodwill and peace as “childish”. In his reply, Modi termed Rahul’s gesture a “bachkani harkat”.
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