Congress president Rahul Gandhi asserted in the Lok Sabha that he had no hatred against the prime minister. 'You think I hate the prime minister, but I am grateful to BJP, Modi and RSS. They made me understand the meaning of Congress. They made me understand the meaning of 'Hindustani'. This Modi, and BJP-RSS has made me realise. You have made me understand the meaning of being a Hindu. I am 'Pappu' for you, but I have no hatred against you,' he said. After the speech Rahul walked to Modi and hugged him.
Monsoon Session of Parliament LIVE updates: After a 12-hour-long session of the Lok Sabha, the Modi government defeated the no-confidence motion brought against it with a thumping majority. The government sailed through the voting with 325 votes in its favour, while the Opposition gathered support of 126 MPs.
"The Congress party has no faith in the Election Commission of India, they lack trust in the judiciary, the CJI and the RBI. They don't believe in the international agencies. They have confidence in nothing. The entire nation has faith, but they don't trust. This is because they ;ack self-confidence," Modi said.
Rahul Gandhi has reacted to France's statement on Rafale deal and said that the French government may deny it if they want but he stands by what he said. "Let them deny it if they want. He (French President) said that before me. I was there, Anand Sharma and Dr.Manmohan Singh were also present," Rahul said.
According to ANI, the French government has taken note of Rahul Gandhi's statement in the Parliament and issued a statement clarifying that India did sign a confidentiality agreement in 2008, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner. The French government further said: "These provisions naturally apply to the IGA concluded on 23 September 2016 on the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft and their weapons."
Firing up the attack on Opposition unity, Rajnath Singh said that the Mahagathbandhan has come together only to oppose one man but the internal lack of trust is such that they can't even decide who will leave the front.
Reports said that the Bharatiya Janata Party will move a privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi for misleading the Parliament and leveling 'false accusations' against Union ministers without substantial proof.
AITMC sharpened its attack against the Modi government in the Lok Sabha. Party MP Saugata Roy said that the prime minister's globe trotting cost India around Rs 18,000 crore while poor farmers continue to die. He called Modi a feriwala and a travelling salesman.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi asserted in the Lok Sabha that he had no hatred against the prime minister. "You think I hate the prime minister, but I am grateful to BJP, Modi and RSS. They made me understand the meaning of Congress. They made me understand the meaning of 'Hindustani'. This Modi, and BJP-RSS has made me realise. You have made me understand the meaning of being a Hindu. I am 'Pappu' for you, but I have no hatred against you," he said. After the speech Rahul walked to Modi and hugged him.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, " Defence minister is sitting here. She first said that she will reveal details of the jet prices. After that, defence minister clearly said that she can't reveal the figures because there is a secrecy pact between the French and Indian government. I met the French prime minister that is there a pact, but he said that there is no such pact between the two countries."
BJP MP Rakesh Singh, the first speaker from the BJP's side, targetted the Congress during his speech. "Congress did a politics of scams in 70 years, while the BJP brought schemes in the past 4 and a half years... Congress can’t accept any govt that is not run by a particular family. This no-confidence motion is nothing but an attempt to stop our victory march to 2019," he said.
TDP MP Jayadev Galla was the first speaker during the debate on no-confidence motion. The no-confidence motion had been moved by the TDP for four reasons: Lack of trust, priority, unbiased approach towards Andhra Pradesh," he said. "Telangana is not a new state, Andhra Pradesh is," he said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that the motion of no-confidence debate will begin now and the voting will be held at 6pm. "If the House agrees, we will skip lunch," she said. Mallikarjun Kharge raised concern over the allotment of 38 minutes for Congress. Meanwhile, BJD MPs staged a walkout.
Eighteen Lok Sabha MPs from the Shiv Sena will abstain from voting on Friday. Speaking to India Today, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the party will neither vote in favour of BJP nor vote against it.
According to reports, Lok Sabha MPs from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi have decided to stage a walkout during the no-trust vote on Friday. This comes amid speculations in the political circles that party chief K Chandrashekar Rao wants to take a neutral stand.
In its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena listed out several issues it has with the BJP and accused it of practicing mobocracy. "We became the fifth largest economy in the world. Okay, but the fifth largest economy has not rescued our farmers from the door of death," it said. However, it said that the BJP will defeat the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha on Friday because it has the numbers.
The Narendra Modi government is expected to sail through the first no-confidence motion in four years in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with all eyes on fence sitters such as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Biju Janata Dal and the day-long debate that is likely to set the agenda for the 2019 general elections.
Though the numbers are heavily stacked against the Opposition, the Congress and other parties indicated on Thursday that they are keen to utilise the debate to attack the government on a range of issues including farm distress, slow economic growth and rising incidents of lynching.
The BJP, on the other hand, is seeking to expand the guaranteed support of 313 members after estranged ally Shiv Sena originally said it would back the government and look for support from regional parties like the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). It would try to weaken the anti-BJP front by eroding the support for the no-trust motion and deplete the Opposition numbers.
Representational image. PTI
In a House of 534 MPs, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 313 members including 274 (including the Speaker) of BJP, 18 of Shiv Sena, six of Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and four from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The majority mark in the House is 268. There are 11 vacancies.
As the Opposition and the government geared up for the no-trust motion, the first in 15 years, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami hinted his party AIADMK might not back the motion. The AIADMK has 37 MPs and its abstention during voting is also not being ruled out. The previous no-trust motion that was moved by the Congress against the Vajpayee government in 2003 was defeated.
The ruling BJD in Odisha said it will reveal its stand on the motion on the floor of the House on Friday. The BJD has 19 MPs. All the key parties including the BJP and the Congress have issued whips to ensure the presence of all its members in the House. The debate is scheduled to start at 11 am.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday said discussion on the no-confidence motion moved by BJP's former ally TDP and others will be held for the full day followed by voting on it. The BJP claimed it will comfortably sail through the no-confidence motion and that it is hopeful of getting support from several non-NDA parties.
"Government has the strength in the House to defeat the motion if one calculates by Indian mathematics... and I do not know which country's mathematics she is using to calculate the numbers," BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on the sidelines of an event, reacting to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's claim that the Opposition had the numbers.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar also took a dig at the Congress leader, saying, "Sonia Gandhi's maths is weak." "We will get new support. It will be from the South, East and all other directions.
"The numbers are very clear. The BJP by itself has a majority in the lower House. We have nearly 314 members within the NDA and there are many other parties which are likely to oppose this no-confidence motion," BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.
The Congress, however, said it is not only a question of numbers. "It is not only a question of numbers. The Opposition will raise various issues concerning the people of the country. Our campaign is to expose the government and tell the truth to the people," senior spokesperson of the Congress Anand Sharma told reporters.
He said the Congress and other Opposition parties will use the occasion to highlight the failures of the government and show them the mirror. "This is the launch of a campaign which will send them packing in 2019 Lok Sabha polls." The Congress had a strategy meeting of its Lok Sabha MPs presided by Sonia Gandhi during which it was decided to attack the government on farm distress among other issues during the debate.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will lead the charge for the Congress, according to the party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech is likely to paint Congress and other Opposition parties as an "opportunistic alliance" with the sole aim of dislodging him from power.
Ahead of Assembly polls in four states due later this year and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP leaders see the debate as an opportunity to reach out to the masses with various "successes" of the government and also to attack the "opportunist alliance" of Opposition parties. The Opposition parties have brought the motion against the government on several issues like special status to Andhra Pradesh, cow vigilantism, lynchings, atrocities against women and Dalits and alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act.
According to projections by the BJP's floor managers, the government is also likely to get support from small parties outside the NDA such as Anbumani Ramadoss's PMK and Raju Shetty-led Swabhimani Paksha. Abstention by some Opposition parties is also not being ruled out. The stated strength of the Opposition is 220, including 63 of the Congress-led UPA, 37 of AIADMK, 34 of Trinamool Congress (TMC), 19 of BJD, 16 of TDP and 11 of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The Lok Sabha Speaker's decision to accept the motion moved by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and others came on the very first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on Wednesday, a move that caught the Opposition by surprise.
With inputs from PTI