New Delhi: “You May Call Me Pappu, I Don’t Hate You.” Rahul Gandhi took everyone by surprise when he said this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament on Friday. He looked directly at the Prime Minister and then hugged him.
The Congress president had been ridiculed for saying in a past session that if he was allowed to speak in the House, there would be an “earthquake”.
In his sharpest attack on the Prime Minister on subjects ranging from the Rafale deal to GST, demonetisation and foreign policy, Rahul Gandhi had said repeatedly, “You can’t look me in the eye.” Listening to him, the PM smiled. Then Rahul Gandhi took this step.
He said, “You can abuse me, you can call me Pappu, but I don’t hate you. I will take out this hatred out of you and turn it into love. I am the Congress.”
The PM looked confused as Rahul Gandhi leaned in and enveloped the PM in a bear hug. PM Narendra Modi was seen saying something into Gandhi’s ear and patting him on the back.
Lawmakers across the House cheered and thumped their desks wildly. Opposition members gave Gandhi a standing ovation.