From #bhookampanewala hai to #JaaduKiJhappi; how Rahul Gandhi owned the internet after Parliament speech

On Friday morning, Congress president Gandhi dominated the #NoConfidenceMotion debate not only inside the Parliament but also on social media. While he attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his government and his ministers over several issues, it was his hug to the prime minister that left the BJP and its leaders stumped. Despite the few errors with his Hindi, Rahul emerged on top, owning the #NoConfidenceMotion debate.

Raul Gandhi hugs Narendra Modi in the Parliament. Image courtesy: Lok Sabha TV

Raul Gandhi hugs Narendra Modi in the Parliament. Image courtesy: Lok Sabha TV

It's important to remember that BJP leaders were taunting the Congress president over his 2016 statement when he had said that "an earthquake would come" if he was allowed to speak inside the House, soon after the schedule for the speech was announced on Thursday.

Rahul had made the comment after Modi had dropped the demonetisation bomb in 2016. "The government is running away from debate. If they allow me to speak then you will see the sort of earthquake that will take place,” he had said.

Hours before Gandhi was to address the house, BJP leaders began taunting the Congress president with the hashtag #bhookampanewalahai. From memes, cartoons to clever one-liners, the conversation around the #NoConfidenceMotion often mentioned a reference to Rahul's earthquake remark.

"Get ready to enjoy the earthquake," BJP leader Giriraj Singh tweeted on Friday. His tweet was followed with similar comments from other BJP leaders.

Amit Malviya tweeted on Friday: "The last few times Rahul Gandhi spoke in Parliament, it was ‘memorable’... Today will be another day! #BhookampAaneWalaHai(sic)."

Although Rahul Gandhi's speech didn't actually create a 'bhookamp' (earthquake) inside Parliament as the Congress president had promised, his hug to Modi appears to have such an effect both inside the House as well as on social media.

Soon after Rahul hugged Modi, hashtags like #JaaduKiJhappi, #PappuKiJhappi, and #RahulKiJhappi began trending. At the time of publishing this article, #RahulKiJhappi was among the top 10 Twitter trends in India. Also trending along with these hashtags was  #BhookampAaGaya, Congress' response to #BhookampAaneWalaHai.

In response, BJP leaders labeled #RahulKiJhappi as "awkward" and "just an incident". The expression on Modi's face too suggested the prime minister wasn't ready for such a moment.

Kiren Rijuju told News18 that the party doesn't care about Rahul's drama. Even the BJP's official Twitter handle posted a 'thank you' note for the "entertainment" along with a smiling image of the prime minister.

On Friday, several Twitter users asked the prime minister if he would have reacted with such spontaneity if the tables were turned. Though a repeat of the hug is not exactly what many would have liked to see, it's clear that the #NoConfidenceMotion hug has Congress supporters brimming with confidence, both inside the House and on social media.


Updated Date: Jul 20, 2018 17:23 PM

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