The Narendra Modi government sailed through its first no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, with 325 members opposing it and 126 Opposition members backing the motion. A total of 451 MPs were present in the House after BJD members walked out and Shiv Sena decided to stay away from voting.
TRS members were also not present in the House when the voting took place, while several AIADMK members opposed the motion in a boost to the NDA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed the NDA win a result of the Opposition’s “arrogance” and its ‘Modi hatao’ mindset as he hit back at Rahul Gandhi calling his behaviour “childish”.
Replying to an over 10-hour debate on the motion before voting began, Modi appealed to all parties to defeat it. He accused the Congress president of “crushing” the truth and “playing with national security” as the latter made allegations against him on the Doklam issue and spoke of graft in the Rafale aircraft deal.
Earlier, after completing his speech, Gandhi left everyone surprised by walking across to the PM’s chair to hug him. Modi, however, mocked him saying the Congress appeared to be in a hurry to occupy his seat as he kept asking him to stand up for an embrace.
“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,” he said.
“The whole country has watched the game he played with his eyes,” Modi said, evoking laughter from treasury benches as he apparently referred to Gandhi’s wink caught on camera.
In response to Rahul Gandhi’s attack on Modi, the PM chose to target the Congress president’s family in his speech.
“The country is not unaware of the history of one family which stoked political instability in the country time and again for its selfish interests,” he said.
Citing several development and welfare initiatives to target the Opposition, Modi said the country had seen how much negativity had seeped into his rivals that they were speaking against the progress made by the country. He said parties that could not stand each other earlier had now got together to remove him but he had the people’s blessings.
Modi said this is not his government’s floor test but a “force test” that the Congress had done to see which parties were with it.
Referring to Rafale deal, the PM, without naming Gandhi, said both India and France had to release statements because of the “careless” allegation levelled against it. “There is complete transparency in the deal,” he asserted.
Speaking about Rahul Gandhi’s allegations on Doklam issue, Modi said the Congress leader believed the Chinese ambassador over Indian forces, as he referred to Gandhi’s meeting with Chinese diplomats during the standoff.
“What have we come to? Everything does not merit a childish conduct,” he said.
The PM also touched the issue of mob lynching incidents as he said he had asked all state governments to take action against people indulging in violence.