“Why The Hurry For Power?” Asks PM In Dig At Rahul Gandhi: 10 Facts
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is responding to the debate on an opposition-backed no-confidence motion against the government, which earlier in the day, featured the never-before sight of Rahul Gandhi crossing the floor and hugging him, declaring that he felt nothing but love for him. In a searing attack on the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi used the phrase "jumla strikes" and targeted him on the Rafale deal, saying he was a "bhagidar" (collaborator) in corruption and not a ‘chowkidar (watchman)". The government has enough numbers to defeat the no-trust motion. Sources say the opposition may walk out, preventing a vote.
Here are the top 10 updates in this big story:
- Rahul Gandhi, leading the Congress offensive, alleged that the government’s deal with France for 36 Rafale fighter jets was massively overpriced and its claim that details could not be revealed was an "untruth". He said when PM Modi went to France, "with some magic" powers, the price per plane increased to Rs 1,600 crore, much more than Rs 520 crore when the Congress was in power.
- The BJP has moved a privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi for his allegations against the PM. France put out a statement saying the two governments had sealed a security pact in 2008, which legally binds them to protect classified information.
- Before the no-trust debate started, there were many political twists for the BJP. The party had claimed the support of estranged ally Shiv Sena, which decided to stay away from the debate on chief Uddhav Thackeray’s orders.
- Naveen Patnaik’s BJD walked out, reducing the strength of the house and the majority mark.
- The total number in Lok Sabha shrunk to 495. The BJP has the numbers to sail through the no-trust motion. But the party hopes to score a two-thirds majority when votes are counted at the end of the debate, which is widely seen as a launch pad for its campaign for the 2019 general elections.
- The majority mark is at 249. The government is expecting 331 votes, counting in the support of AIADMK. The parties opposing the government are expected to muster 154 votes.
- PM Modi tweeted this morning, calling for a "constructive, comprehensive and disruption free" debate on what he said was an important day in India’s parliamentary democracy. "India will be watching us closely," he wrote.
- The Congress, which was given 38 minutes to speak in contrast to the BJP’s 3 hours 33 minutes, was unhappy. "This is a vote of no-confidence… Half an hour should be given to speak on every such big issue," said Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge.
- "I hope the opposition will have patience to hear us out too," countered Union minister Ananth Kumar. "Rahul-ji had promised an earthquake when he speaks… It certainly will come, but in the Congress party, in the coalition that they are trying to stitch," he added.
- The no-confidence motion has been brought by Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party to push its demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh, which would involve extensive financial benefits. Mr Naidu had quit the NDA earlier this year over this issue.