Of the many swipes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took at Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his last Lok Sabha speech, one was over his famous hug in Parliament that stole the limelight. At a meeting in Rajasthan’s Ajmer, the 48-year-old Congress president delivered his comeback. The hug was designed, Gandhi told a gathering of Seva Dal volunteers to counter hate. “… I destroyed it,” the Congress president said.
Rahul Gandhi asked Congress workers to fight the “hatred” of the BJP and the RSS with love. He said that the Congress wants to defeat the BJP in 2019 general elections but not finish them off.
“If the BJP and the RSS abuse us, we must fight them with love. Modiji often attacks me and my family and says he will finish the Congress. I on the other hand went and hugged him in Parliament. My love destroyed the hatred in him for me,” Gandhi said.
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In his last speech in Lok Sabha on Wednesday before the 2019 elections, Modi had taken a dig at Rahul Gandhi and said he being a first-time MP got to know the difference between hugging and piling on in Parliament. “I got to know the difference between gale milna and gale parna (hugging and piling on). I got to know about aankhon ki gustakhiyaan (mischief of the eye),” Modi said.
He was referring to July last year when Rahul Gandhi hugged the prime minister in Lok Sabha. During the debate in Lok Sabha last year, Rahul Gandhi told Modi that the BJP may hate him but he has no hard feelings for the PM. “You hate me, I may be Pappu for you. But I love you and respect you because I am the Congress,” Gandhi had said.
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On Thursday, the Congress president said that the 2019 polls will be a fight between ideologies. “It will be a battle between the RSS and the BJP’s ideology to divide the country and the Congress’s efforts to unite it. For the BJP, India is a product, for us it is a sea of people,” Rahul Gandhi said.
First Published: Feb 14, 2019 12:37 IST