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Maintain dignity of House, Speaker raps Rahul Gandhi for hugging Modi

During the no-confidence motion debate, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that there is a decorum to the prime minister’s post and every member must maintain it.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2018 20:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sumitra Mahajan,No confidence motion,Lok Sabha
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan conducts proceedings in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reprimanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi for hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of his speech during Friday’s debate on the no-confidence motion.

“Even I did not like it (the hug). There is a decorum (that we attach) to the Prime Minister’s post. Inside the House, sitting in that seat, he is not Narendra Modi but the Prime Minister of India,” Mahajan said

“Every member must maintain decorum and dignity of the House because no one else will. I want everybody to co-exist peacefully. I have no enmity with Rahul ji. He is like my son,” Mahajan said.

The Speaker’s comments came after Union home minister Rajnath Singh referred to Gandhi’s hug as ‘Chipko andolan’.

But the Congress said that Gandhi hugging Modi was an “unscripted” gesture that took “BJPs breath away”.

“What an astonishing performance by Rahul Gandhi. It was a game-changing speech, tearing apart the government’s claims and ending with that unscripted hug that has literally taken the BJP’s breath away,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

The Prime Minister was taken aback at first and gestured as if asking Gandhi why he was there. But the Congress President bent over, threw his arms around Modi and hugged him tight.

After recovering from an apparent shock moment, the Prime Minister called Gandhi back towards him and the two shook hands. He patted Gandhi on his back and exchanged a word or two with him, smilingly.

The Congress chief’s hug cut no ice with the BJP which decided to move a privilege motion against him for making “false allegations” and “misleading the House” on the Rafale deal.

BJP leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Gandhi’s behaviour was childish.

“His behaviour was childish. He has grown old but it is unfortunate that he has not grown up. It is unfortunate that the president of Congress is so ill-informed and immature,” Kumar told reporters.

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 17:42 IST