Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s surprise gesture to hug Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha after his speech during the no-confidence debate had Twitter abuzz on Friday with jokes aplenty and the hashtags 'pappukijhappi' and 'hugplomacy' trending on the microblogging site.
Many remembered 'Munnabhai', the character from the eponymous Bollywood film who hugged his opponents in a bid to win them over and prove the relevance of Gandhian values.
As visuals of the Congress president walking across the House to hug Modi were played repeatedly across television channels and social media platforms, some recalled the prime minister’s own penchant for hugging leaders and some referred to Gandhi’s mocking moniker Pappu.
'@narendramodi gets a taste of his own hugs from @RahulGandhi! And that too minutes after @HarsimratBadal_ said that Parliament is not for 'Munna Bhai’s puppy- jhappis,' a Twitter user said.
Another user Ankur Singh tweeted, 'even more awkward hug #Hugplomacy'.
'Pappu becomes Munna Bhai!' Sitanshu Shukla said.
Given Modi’s visible surprise, one user brought up the issue of consent and called it the 'most forced hug' of all time.
Priyanka Bansal tweeted, 'The most forced hug of all times probably. Consent ka kya, Mr Gandhi?#NoConfidenceMotion #PappuKiJhappi'
Modi, who initially looked nonplussed and did not stand up to hug him, recovered quickly and called Gandhi back and patted him on the back.
Gandhi later appeared to be winking, a picture which went viral with Twitter users drawing a parallel between the Congress president and Malayalam actor Priya Prakash Varrier who became an internet sensation with her wink from a film song, 'Manikya Malaraya Poovi'.
'Rahul Gandhi’s Priya Varrier moment after ‘The Hug’ #ModiTrustVote,' Vipin Vijayan tweeted.
Another Twitter user, Harsh Singhavi said, “Pappu is learning from Priya”
'Move out Priya Warrier you have got a tough competition in Rahul Gandhi!! On a serious note this is what Pappu and Congress has reduced Parliament to. Cheap antics, fake jhappis, sly winks,' added another tweet.
Gandhi said in his speech that Modi, the BJP and the RSS had taught him the meaning of being a member of the Congress party, an Indian and a Hindu.
"Being an Indian and being a Congressman means no matter what falsehood someone speaks against you, you do not harbour ill-will against them. For this, I thank you," Gandhi said.
He concluded his speech by saying, "You can call me things, You can call me Pappu, but I do not have any hate for you."