New Delhi, July 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government comfortably defeated the first no-confidence motion brought against it by the TDP, with 325 votes against and 126 in favour. The Biju Janata Dal, Shiv Sena and TRS abstained. Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP veteran, was also absent though his other party MPs, including daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav, backed the motion. All four Aam Aadmi Party MPs supported the motion in line with the party whip.
As the Speaker announced the results after a gruelling 12-hour debate, the House erupted in chants of “Modi…Modi” even as the Congress-led Opposition claimed moral victory, crediting Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “speaking the truth to the PM.” The PM returned to the House and chided the Gandhi scion for his “childish ways”.
He took him on for speaking a “ lie on the Rafale deal”.
Earlier in the day, Rahul had said the French President, in an interaction with him, had denied any secrecy clause in the Rafale contract. The PM teased the Opposition to bring in another no-confidence vote against him in 2024, signalling the NDA was ready for the 2019 General Election.
But most of the PM’s speech was a scathing criticism of the Congress, Rahul and the Opposition. “I can’t imagine you playing childish games on national security issues. Both India and France have had to issue denials after what you said. Will you keep doing childish things? The country won’t spare you,” the PM attacked Rahul, also questioning his intent behind repeatedly attacking the government on Doklam.
On the bear hug from the Congress president, the PM asked: “Why was there such haste to get me to get up and hug you? In democracy only people can make you stand or sit.” PM Modi also turned around Gandhi’s “you can’t look me in the eye because you speak untruths” jibe.
“How can we look you in the eye? We are too small and too poor to do that. And we are conscious of what has been done to those who dare to look into the Congress’ eyes, be it Subhas Chandra Bose or Morarji Desai or JP Yadav or Patel or Pranab Mukherjee.”
In his over hour-long speech, the PM accused the Congress of misusing the tool of no-confidence motion in an effort to destabilise the country. “It’s the Congress culture to resort to instability for self gains and push the country into early elections,” he said.
He also warned the larger Opposition of a dithering Congress, claiming the latter had “lost touch with the ground.” Tearing into the Gandhi family, he taunted the Congress: “Ever since we came and launched a direct attack on corruption, the top Congress leadership has been anxious and has had to appear in courts. Their tensions are natural.”
Responding to Rahul’s “you are bhaagidaar, not chowkidaar” comment, the PM remarked: “Yes, we are partners in the pain of the poor and the marginalised, but we are not contractors and negotiators like the Congress.” He also listed the institutions and policies in which the Congress had expressed no trust — CJI, EC, EVMs, CBI, GST and Yoga Day.
Source Tribune India