The BJP on Friday termed Rahul Gandhi’s hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an “immature” act and said his speech during the no-confidence motion was “low on substance” and “high on entertainment”.
After a no-holds barred and scathing criticism of the prime minister on several issues including the Rafale jet deal, the Congress leader on Friday walked across the green-carpeted well of Lok Sabha to Modi and hugged him, a gesture which took the Treasury Bench members by surprise.
Gandhi’s unexpected gesture came during a debate on no-confidence motion moved by the TDP against the Modi government.
He also launched a scathing attack on Modi, accusing him of being a “bhagidar” (collaborator) instead of a ‘chowkidar’, in alleged graft in the Rafale deal and said the people were the victims of his “gimmickry”.
Commenting on the Congress president’s speech, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “It was low on substance and high on entertainment value. Since yesterday, the country was observing Rahul and wanted to hear his speech.
“He (Rahul) had said last time that when he would speak, there would be an earthquake. We waited for 15 minutes, half-an-hour, one hour, but nothing transpired as there was no substance in the speech of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
The BJP spokesperson also disapproved the “kind of entertainment Gandhi made out of his speech by saying—BJP and RSS taught him (Gandhi) what Hindustani and Hindu means”.
Patra also criticised the Congress leader for “pointing fingers at an MP and saying—she was smiling at me”, in a reference to Union minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
He said Gandhi should have dealt with the issues in Parliament “maturely”.
“Maturity was lacking in Rahul Gandhi. I believe no ‘earthquake’ came, but the land below Rahul and Congress party’s feet was definitely shaken,” he added.
Union minister Babul Supriyo also attacked the Gandhi scion over his speech and gesture in the Lower House, saying the latter should have respected his party’s traditions and history.
”Congress party has a tradition, a history. Even though they have done many wrongs, they should respect that (tradition and history),” he said.
“What is this? This is no gallery show. Is it a one act play that one comes and hugs the prime minister? Somebody should make him understand the dignity of his position,” Supriyo said.
Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Gandhi’s speech lacked “truth”.
“Rahul Gandhi’s speech lacked any power, any truth,” he said.
Criticising the Congress chief’s gesture, actor-turned-politician and BJP MP Kirron Kher said, “He can go to Bollywood...we have come from there but now he can go after fine-tuning his acting skills”.