Congress president Rahul Gandhi during an interview to News Nation.
It has been almost 10 months since Rahul Gandhi amused everyone with a hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of his speech followed by a wink during the no-confidence motion debate in the Lok Sabha on July 20, 2018. The Congress president still mains that he has no personal grudges against the PM. Speaking with News Nation’s Deepak Chaurasia and Ajay Kumar in an exclusive interview, said: “I don’t hate Narendra Modi. He is an ideology and I am fighting it. I have no personal enmity with him.”
Gandhi's no-holds barred attack at Modi on a range of issues including the controversial Rafale jet deal in his hour-long speech during a debate on the no-confidence motion against the government often sparked loud protests from the treasury benches, but it was his walk across the green-carpeted Well of House at the end to hug Modi that left almost everyone, not the least the prime minister, surprised.
Modi 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 Gandhi presented it as his show of love for the BJP despite its "abuses", including calling him 'pappu', "hate" and "anger". He said he was thankful to the BJP and the RSS for teaching him the meaning of Lord Shiva and what it means to be a Hindu and a Congressman.
When News Nation asked Gandhi what led him to do that because such things are unusual in the Parliament, the Congress leader said: “I was listening to Prime Minister’s speech and he had so much hatred in his heart about me, my family and the Congress. I was not catching the anger thrown at me. I had love in my heart, I did not accept the gift of hatred from him. I gave him the gift of love and hugged him.”
"I don’t hate Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi is an ideology and I am fighting it. I have no personal enmity with him," says @RahulGandhi@_Kumar_Ajay and @DChaurasia2312#RahulOnNewsnation— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) May 13, 2019
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Gandhi’s winking picture had gone viral, with Twitter users drawing a parallel between the Congress president and Malayalam actor Priya Prakash Varrier who became an internet sensation with her wink from a film song, “Manikya Malaraya Poovi”.