PTI Photo
PTI Photo

New Delhi: The no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government was defeated in the Lok Sabha on Friday after a 12-hour heated debate which saw the government and the opposition trade charges and a moment of drama when Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, after a blistering speech, walked over to hug the Prime Minister.

The government defeated the motion brought against it by a comfortable 325 votes. Only 126 MPs supported it. The halfway mark stood at 226 after Naveen Patnaik’s BJD, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and BJP’s ally Shiv Sena skipped the voting. During the debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcased the achievements of his government  — electrification of 18,000 villages, healthcare for all, LPG for the poor, initiatives for farmers, one-rank one pension for soldiers, the flagship Goods and Services tax and the strengthening of economy.

The motion had been brought by Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party to push its demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh. Naidu had quit the NDA earlier this year over this issue. ‘‘What can be a bigger mandate than this? It means Congress will get only 10 seats in 2019,’’ pointed out BJP MP Nishikant Dubey after the vote.

Naidu addressed the media at 11:30 pm in Amravati where he said, “Prime Minister didn’t speak on Andhra Pradesh’s development. He displayed the same disregard. I have  never seen such an irresponsible central government before. After seeing the attitude of the BJP, it seems as if the Congress government was better. BJP doubted our patriotism. This is not tolerable.”

“Wonderful oratory skills, great action, it felt like a Bollywood blockbuster. Even in 2014, the people were betrayed in the same way,” said Srinivas Kesineni, TDP. “I end my speech once again by asking you to bring another no-confidence motion in 2024,” said PM Modi as he wound up his reply to the debate. That has set the tone for the 2019 elections.

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