PM challenges opposition to bring No Trust motion against his Govt in 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually threw a challenge to the united opposition saying they can bring another No Confidence Motion against his government only by the year 2024 – when his government is supposed to complete 10 years in power.

“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-half an hour speech.

In his response, Prime Minister targeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi and also 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.

Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s speech made earlier in the House, Prime Minister said his 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 Rafale 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,” Mr Modi said amid frequent objections and ruckus from the opposition members.

“I pray that such childish statements are not repeated,” he said.

Displaying his vintage touch against the Congress and especially its President Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister waxed eloquently and said: “as a poor mother’s son, how can I see eye to eye to someone like you”.

“And those who talk about seeing eye to eye….was today found winking in the House,” Mr 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.

Mocking Mr Gandhi’s ‘hug’ – the video of which went viral on social media and television, the Prime Minister said, ‘Basking in arrogance, such people do not commoners and think themselves as God.’

On Mr Gandhi saying that the Prime Minister could not see ‘eye to eye’ with him, he said, ‘How can a kaamgar put eye in eye in the Namdar. 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.’

Charging the Congress with using ‘objectionable’ language for the Indian army, Mr Modi said the language used for the Army was not up to the mark. “If you have to abuse me, abuse me, but do not do to the army. How can you say jumala to surgical strike. It is an insult to the army.’

France refutes Rahul Gandhi’s claims on Rafale deal

France on Friday said it cannot reveal the details of the Rafale fighter jet deal with India as it is under the classified category.”We have noted the statement of Mr Rahul Gandhi before the Indian Parliament. France and India concluded in 2008 a Security agreement, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner,” the spokesperson of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a statement made available here.

The spokesperson was responding to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s statement in Parliament over his meeting with the French president Emmanuel Macron over the Rafale deal.

“We have noted the statement of Mr Rahul Gandhi before the Indian Parliament. France and India concluded in 2008 a Security agreement, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner, that could impact security and operational capabilities of the defence equipment of India or France. These provisions naturally apply to the IGA concluded on 23 September 2016 on the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft and their weapons.

“As the President of the French Republic indicated publicly in an interview given to India Today on 9th March 2018, in India and in France, when a deal is very sensitive, we can’t reveal all details,” said the statement.

Participating in the debate over the no-confidence motion against the BJP-led NDA government, Mr Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha: that he had met the President of France and asked him about the secrecy clause. He (French president) denied that any such clause exists in the agreement. “He told me so and I don’t have any objection if you tell this to everyone in the country ; the gentleman clearly said there is no secret pact between the French government and the Indian government. So the defence minister has clearly spoken an untruth.”

Rahul must tender apology for misleading LS on Rafale: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday demanded that the Congress President Rahul Gandhi must tender apology to the nation as he has misled the Lok Sabha that French President Emmanuel Macron informed him about “no secrecy” treaty on Rafale deal.

Replying to the debate on the day-long debate on No Trust motion against his government, Prime Minister said such remarks were like “bachpana (childish)”.

“The gravity of the situation ought to be understood that governments in two nations had to issue statements discounting his statement,” Mr Modi said amid frequent objections and ruckus from the opposition members.

“I pray that such childish statements are not repeated,” he said.

Displaying his vintage touch against the Congress and especially its President Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister waxed eloquently and said: “as a poor mother’s son, how can I see eye to eye to someone like you”.

In this context, he said all prominent Congress leaders in the past who dared to question the first family of Congress had to face immense hardships.

In this list include the likes of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Jai Prakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Charan Singh and even the likes of Pranab Mukherjee and Sharad Pawar.

Earlier, participating in the debate on ‘No Confidence Motion’ BJP member Anurag Thakur said that Rahul Gandhi had quoted French President Emmanuel Macron of saying that he had denied of any secrecy clause.

“But the French President in an statement to media today denied of any such conversation with Rahul Gandhi which clearly establish that Mr Gandhi has lied before the House,” said Mr Thakur.

Mr Thakur also demanded that Mr Gandhi must tender apology.

Speaker censures Rahul for embracing PM in LS

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday reprimanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi for antics in the House when he gave a surprise hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also winked.

‘ ..nahi hona chahiye (this should not happened)’ said Ms Mahajan, after around two-and-a-half hours of Mr Gandhi crossing over to the treasury bench and embracing a sitting Mr Modi.

The Speaker said in the House, Mr Modi was sitting on the seat of Prime Minister when the dramatic interlude took place. ‘Decorum of the House should have been maintained,’ she said.

‘No one from outside will come and protect the dignity of the House. All of you will have to do it,’ she said.

The Speaker also did not entertain objections to her observation from Congress members Mallikarjun Kharge and Gaurav Gogoi and went on to remark ‘Gaurav beta aapko bahut kuch seekhna hai (dear Gaurav, you still have to learn a lot)’.

Directing her message to Congress floor leader Mr Kharge, the Speaker said, ‘Aap bhi aisa nahi karoge (I think you will also not do it)’.

Ms Mahajan clarified that she had nothing personal against Mr Gandhi and was making the observation only to uphold the dignity of the House.

Earlier, leading the Congress charge in the debate on the No Trust motion, Mr Gandhi said he did not nurse any ill feeling against BJP and walked across to embrace Mr Modi.

However, Mr Gandhi’s gesture provoked mild rebuke from the Speaker, who said the dignity of the House should be maintained and that there is no room for any ‘drama’.

Oppn showers praise on Rahul; BJP lambasts, says speech low on facts

As leaders of opposition parties praised Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday, ruling BJP leaders criticised him and said Mr Gandhi has become a ‘laughing stock’.

In nearly 40-minute-long speech during debate on the no-confidence motion, moved by Telugu Desham Party against the Narendra Modi government, Mr Gandhi slammed the Union government, particularly the Prime Minister and alleged that it had failed on every front, including agriculture, employment, GST, demonetisation and foreign affairs.

Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the Congress president spoke very well and honestly. He reflected the feeling of every citizen of the country. “People of the country are really fed up from this government and I agree with what he said,” Mr Yadav tweeted.

Referring to the wink by Mr Gandhi after hugging the Prime Minister, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said ‘it had hit them (BJP) hard where it hurts’ and the Congress president ‘unearthed BJP’s mines of lies’.

“Oh that wink my friend! Hit them hard where it hurts. Congratulations for unearthing their mines of lies and a fantastic speech,” Mr Yadav tweeted.

On a lighter note about the hug and the wink, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said in a tweet that “It’s going to be one of those days. We had the hug and now the wink seems to have stolen a march on the hug. I am almost afraid to ask what’s next”.

However, Mr Abdullah cautiously asked whether anybody reminded the government of the issues related to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the past four years.

“Jokes aside has anyone reminded the government of the total mess they have made of the situation in J&K over the last 4 years?” he asked.

Earlier Congress leaders including Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor had praised Mr Gandhi for his speech. Mr Tharoor had said the speech was ‘game-changing’ and ‘tears apart government’s claims’.

In an initial response, BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP Anurag Takur said Mr Gandhi speech was without any factual facts and it became a laughing stock.

“Did anyone feel the earthquake? Well, it was definitely felt by @INCIndia, @RahulGandhi ji spoke without any factual data and reduced it to merely becoming a laughing stock. You indeed make it memorable every time you speak in the house”, tweeted Mr Takur.

In 2016, Mr Gandhi had said that if he was allowed to speak on demonetisation issue, there would be an earthquake.

In the last Budget session also, which was quite stormy due to uproar on various issues, the Congress president had said that if he got 15 minutes to speak, the Prime Minister would not be able to stand.

BJP leaders had mocked the Congress president before the House resumed for the debate on no-confidence motion, and said they were ‘expecting an earthquake’.

Another BJP leader and party spokesperson Sambit Patra said Mr Rahul’s gesture to hug the Prime Minister proved that the Congress has surrendered in front of Mr Modi.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Patra alleged that the Congress President’s speech was low on substance, though high on entertainment.