New Delhi: After a raging 12-hour debate yesterday, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government defeated the No-Confidence Motion in the Lok Sabha by 199 votes. While 126 members supported the motion, 325 MPs rejected it. This was the first No Trust Motion against the Modi Government which came to power in 2014.
The day-long session in the Lower House saw the government and the Opposition trade charges and a moment of drama when Congress President Rahul Gandhi, after a blistering speech, walk over to Prime Minister and embrace him in a hug. He walked over to his seat and winked at one of his colleagues.
Rahul’s antics prompted Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to reprimand him for his “drama” and said everyone must maintain decorum in Parliament. Sumitra said she was not opposed to Rahul hugging any individual but everyone has to maintain decorum in Parliament.
“We have to maintain decorum as an MP. Outsiders cannot maintain decorum. I want that everyone should live in harmony. No one is my enemy, Rahul is like my son,” she said.
Without mentioning anyone’s name, the Speaker said she did not like the hug as “he (Modi) is the Prime Minister”. “There is decorum for every Parliamentarian. I am also a mother. At that time he was the Prime Minister. We should maintain the decorum of the House. I thought what drama was happening,” she said.
Cong indulging in negative politics
Terming the No Trust Vote against his government a result of the Opposition’s “arrogance”, Modi called on all parties to dismiss the move and accused the Congress of working with the mindset of ‘Modi Hatao’ (remove Modi).
Responding to the debate on the motion, he said some people are indulging in “negative politics.” He also took a dig at Rahul Gandhi for asking him to stand up for a hug after walking across to his chair in the Lok Sabha, saying the Congress President appeared to be in a hurry to occupy his seat.
Terming the faith of the electorate as the real test of a government, Modi said, “I cannot be removed except by the 125 crore people of India. Why this hurry to remove me. In democracy, we should remain patient.”
He said it is not the floor test of the government but that of the Congress. “Our thinking is different from the Opposition’s. This is not a floor test of the Government. It’s a floor test of Congress and its allies. This is a trial run for them to choose a PM face,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi targeted Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi and charged that the Congress party has always been involved in destabilising non-Congress governments. In this context, Prime Minister said in 1999 Sonia Gandhi had said that she had 272 members which later turned out to be only a false claim.
The PM said Rahul’s remarks against Armed Forces by dismissing the surgical strike against Pakistan as ‘Jumla strike’ was unbecoming of a remark of a public leader. Using the Hindi phrase ‘bachpana (childish)’, Prime Minister said Congress President’s remarks that French President Emmanuel Macron informed him about “no secrecy” treaty on Rafael deal was also not correct.
“The gravity of the situation ought to be understood that governments in two nations had to issue statements discounting his statement,” Modi said amid frequent objections and ruckus from Opposition members. “I pray that such childish statements are not repeated,” he said.
Displaying his vintage touch against the Congress and especially its President, the PM waxed eloquently and said: “As a poor mother’s son, how can I see eye to eye to someone like you.”
Eye to eye
“And those who talk about seeing eye to eye…was today found winking in the House,” Modi said repeatedly making gestures. Prime Minister also said the manner in which Rahul Gandhi had crossed over to the treasury bench and gestured him (PM) to be up on his feet only displayed “ahankar (arrogance)” of an unprecedented scale.
”How a Kaamdaar can put eye in eye in the Naamdaar? Look at the fate met by those who did so. “What did the Congress do with the leaders who tried to put ‘eye to eye’ with the top leadership be it Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jaiprakash Narayan, Chandrashekhar or Pranab Mukherjee.”
“I invite all Opposition leaders to bring another No Trust Motion against my government in 2024,” Prime Minister said wrapping up his over one-and-a-half-an-hour speech.
Yesterday’s No Confidence Motion, the 27th in Parliamentary history, was the first to be admitted in 15 years. The last was in 2003 when the Congress party moved a No Confidence motion against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.