A day after creating a splash in the Lok Sabha by hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that only way to build a nation was by harnessing love and compassion of people.
He said that Friday's debate in Parliament on the no-confidence motion was about the prime minister using "hate, fear and anger" in the hearts of some people to build his narrative, and the Congress countering that through love and compassion.
"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 (sic),” he said on Twitter.
Gandhi gave a 45-minute fiery speech during the no-confidence motion debate in the Lok Sabha, accusing the prime minister of unleashing "jumla strike" on people in the form of demonetisation, joblessness, Rafale deal, poor state of economy, mob violence, lynching, and incidents of alleged atrocities on Dalits and women.
After concluding his speech, Gandhi walked across the aisle to where the prime minister was sitting and hugged him, capping his blistering attack on Modi.
The prime minster shook Gandhi's hands but ignored his call to stand so that he could hug the BJP leader.
The Congress chief, however, embraced him as he remained seated.
Modi initially looked nonplussed and did not stand up to hug him, but recovered quickly and called Gandhi back and patted him on the back. He also appeared to say a few words, which were inaudible
During his reply to the debate, the prime minister shot back at Gandhi giving a point-to-point rebuttal on the attack on him.
Sena compares Modi to France, Rahul to Croatia
Drawing a parallel between the FIFA World Cup final and the no-confidence motion, the Shiv Sena said Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have emerged victorious like France, but Congress chief Rahul Gandhi won many hearts like runners-up Croatia.
"In the football World Cup final, France won (the title), but Croatia is remembered for the manner in which they played. Rahul is now being talked in the same way. When one plays such politics, he moves four-five steps ahead," Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.
Responding to Gandhi's hug to Modi, Raut said such gestures were meant to attract attention. If Gandhi did so to give a jolt to Modi, then he has succeeded, Raut told a news channel.
The Rajya Sabha MP said Gandhi should be congratulated for donning a new avatar during the debate in the Lok Sabha on the no-trust motion on Friday.
"Modi's speech was like a prime minister's speech... Modi ji is Modi ji. It would not be right to compare Modi ji with anybody. But, even Rahul's speech is being discussed at the same level," the Sena leader said.
Raut described the defeat of the no-trust motion as not surprising since the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance enjoyed a comfortable majority in the Lower House.
"Power has its own strengths and there is the fear element as well. The country frequently listens to the PM, but heard Rahul (in his new form) for the first time," he added.
In last Sunday's World Cup final, France defeated underdogs Croatia 4-2.
While Les Bleus received accolades for its performance, it was Croatia -- a tiny European nation with a population of around 4.5 million -- that won the hearts of millions of soccer fans across the globe for the way it played in the showpiece tournament.