Narendra Modi holds Rahul Gandhi’s hand amid bonhomie in Central Hall

New Delhi, June 9: Bonhomie pervaded in parliament on Monday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held Rahul Gandhi‘s hand in an expression of warmth and Congress president Sonia Gandhi conversed intently with L.K. Advani.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was among those present in the packed central hall to listen to President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the members of the two houses. The exchange of greetings between Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi took place while the prime minister was walking in the traditional procession along with Mukherjee.

As Modi neared Rahul, who was in the middle rows on a seat next to the aisle, he held the Congress leader’s hand. Modi’s gesture evoked a smile from Rahul. It is perhaps the first occasion when Modi exchanged greetings and held Rahul’s hand after the Lok Sabha election. Modi and Rahul had exchanged barbs during the general elections with the Bharatiya Janata Party leader particularly hard-hitting the Congress vice president, often describing him “shehzada” (prince).

Rahul also struck up conversation with former union minister Jairam Ramesh who was seated a seat away from him. As the President spoke, Ramesh could be seen taking down notes. The central hall, with a large section comprising ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) MPs, broke into instant applause whenever the President read out key catch phrases of Modi’s governance scheme — “minimum government, maximum governance”, returning the Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, and FDI in defence production.

Modi was seated in the front row along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Sonia Gandhi was seated in the adjacent front row along with veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.  Sonia and Advani conversed intently for several minutes before the President began his 55-minute speech. Others in the front row included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Before the President arrived, members like Shiromani Akali Dal MP and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur, Advani and Sonia greeted Manmohan Singh. Officials said it was his first visit to parliament after resigning as prime minister. Members also greeted one another with handshakes, pats and embraces.

The President arrived in the traditional procession that was led by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and included Modi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.  Members stood up as the procession entered the high-domed edifice.

Many members greeted former union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, set to be Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, sat together in the second row. The central hall was packed to capacity. While some members sat on chairs at the back, a few apparently could not get a seat.

  • Satish Chandra


    CIA-RAW had removed my comment from the following stories in TehelkaDOTcom:

    1) from a story titled “Brutality Looks Like This” about a woman in India’s tribal Northeast having had her head blown off, because my comment refers to the physical assault and brutalization I suffered in a Harvard University seminar which I described in my letter dated July 27, 1982 to Indira Gandhi as prime minister as “the equivalent of an annihilatory nuclear first strike on India“; in her reply dated July 29, 1982, she wrote “Dear Mr. Chandra, I have received your letter dated July 27, 1982 and am passing it on to my Principal Secretary to deal with it. Sincerely, Indira Gandhi“ ;

    2) from a story titled “Tyranny of U.P. and Bihar” because my comment refers to the tyranny, including 24-hour surveillance by satellite, forced starvation for up to 3 weeks at a time, etc. under which I have been living for the past 37 years.

    The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has complained that the media only seem to see the rapes that occur in Uttar Pradesh. He should ask the media how much reporting they have done on the following (‘India’s Traitor Government and Media’ : IndiasTraitorGovtAndMediaDOTblogspotDOTcom ):-

    “”India’s greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of [and interference with] communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India’s RAW and India’s C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media — to keep India poor, weak and enslaved” and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the U.S.; see my blog titled ‘Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.’ which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title; my biography can be found in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World, 2014 and earlier editions.” In the past few years I have had India’s nuclear forces emplace India’s nuclear warheads in Washington, New York and other U.S. cities, ready to be exploded. Simultaneously destroying Washington, New York and New Delhi (RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block) with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be similarly destroyed, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them, if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation, will immediately make India the supreme military and economic power in the world even before implementing my proposal about money which can make India’s economy grow 30% per year or more. IndiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom Satish Chandra

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