After an exhaustive 12-hour debate, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government won the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha by 199 votes. While 126 members supported the motion, 325 MPs rejected it. BJD and Shiv Sena showed indecision and walked out prior to the vote. The motion was brought in by TDP, seeking clarifications on Andhra Pradesh’s special status. The day-long session in the Lower House saw the government and the Opposition trade allegations and also, an unexpected moment of drama when Congress president Rahul Gandhi, after a blistering speech, walk over to Prime Minister and embrace him in a hug.
Terming the no-trust vote against his government a result of the Opposition’s “arrogance”, Modi had earlier 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.
“Only the electorate of the country can decide his fate and make him sit on his chair,” Modi said, before asking, “What is the hurry?” Gandhi was present in the House when the Prime Minister made the statement. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also condemned Rahul Gandhi’s actions, calling him out for showing disrespect in the House.
While the government ultimately won the vote, Prime Minister’s speech was criticised in remarks by TDP MP Srinivas, who called Prime Minster as ‘the best actor in the world’.
Friday’s no-confidence motion, the 27th in Parliamentary history, was the first to be admitted by the Speaker in 15 years. The last was in 2003 when the Congress party moved a no-confidence motion against prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.