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.