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Target Rahul Gandhi: How BJP plans to take on Congress leader after trust vote

The BJP has decided to take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi with a new narrative premised around his ‘immaturity.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2018 10:40 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
No-confidence vote,Rahul Gandhi,BJP
Congress President Rahul Gandhi hugs Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his Lok Sabha speech during the 'no-confidence motion' on July 20, 2018. (PTI)

A day after decisively defeating the vote of no-confidence in Parliament, the mood in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was of jubilation at the scale of victory. This was coupled with a decision to go on the offensive against Congress president Rahul Gandhi with a new narrative premised around his ‘immaturity’.

Hindustan Times spoke to five BJP leaders, four of whom wished to remain anonymous. The BJP believes that the fact that the government got 325 votes - with the caveat that the number could go up when Lok Sabha secretariat releases a corrected tally - was a signal that the government was strong.

“Remember speculation about how BJP had lost its majority, that there were disgruntled MPs. In one stroke, we have erased all of that,” said the first BJP leader.

Anurag Thakur, the newly appointed chief whip of the party in Lok Sabha said, “... we spoke to MPs many times; drew up lists... Five BJP MPs who were outside the country came back for this. Five BJP MPs in hospital were brought. From BJP, only two MPs couldn’t make it either because of ill health or being abroad.” Another MP claimed that both the PM’s speech and the scale of victory had provided a much-needed boost to party cadres . Admitting they were taken aback when Rahul Gandhi hugged the PM, a leader said it had given them ammunition, claiming he came across as ‘childish, immature, non-serious and not prepared to become PM’.

“You can’t force yourself on someone. You can’t do this in Parliament,” said Thakur.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, “The BJP again is solely focusing on Rahulji’s hug to conveniently divert attention from vital issues of governance the Congress president raised to which the PM had no response. Clearly the hug surprisingly has given a heartburn to the BJP camp. ”

Gandhi tweeted on Saturday: “The point of yesterday’s debate in Parliament..PM uses Hate, Fear and Anger in the hearts of some of our people to build his narrative. We are going to prove that Love and Compassion in the hearts of all Indians, is the only way to build a nation.”

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 23:49 IST