Tuesday was not a day of business as usual at the Lok Sabha. There was a sense of intrigue in the corridors, of expectations, individual aspirations, and collective hopes.
If on one side it was people who wanted to hear Rahul Gandhi speak, on the other, it was people clustered in the dark corners of Parliament debating what would happen when the motion of confidence was put to vote. Gossip ran rife whenever any two individuals from opposing sides were even seen greeting each other. All of it would play out later in the evening when the cash on the table incident took place.
Chief Ministers present on Tuesday included, Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Chauhan, Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, Andhra Pradesh CM YSR Reddy, Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Assam CM Tarun Gogoi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who moved around the corridors stitching up last minute details.
In the morning, Priyanka Vadara arrived dressed in a smart pair of trousers and white shirt, accompanied by husband Robert Vadra. The two left only when the House adjourned for lunch. After the lunch break, Priyanka Vadara returned ten minutes before schedule.
The sister proved herself a rapt listener when her brother narrated his experiences in Vidarbha to make a case for the connection between energy and poverty alleviation. Proud mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had her own way of showing support — she thumped the table when Rahul Gandhi said that India should be more concerned about impacting the world.
After repeated disruptions by BSP members, Rahul Gandhi made an attempt to reach out to the BSP benches and spoke to their leader Brajesh Pathak. A short while later, the young MP got some advice from his mother, Congress President, Sonia Gandhi. Gandhi's speech, which was evidently the centre of all attention, flushed modestly when after his speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh walked up to him and congratulated him for handling the situation commendably.