A day after the Lok Sabha unanimously elected Om Birla as the Speaker, President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a joint session of the Parliament on June 20, 2019.
While all other members of the Parliament, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were seen listening to the President’s speech with attention with full honour, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, showing complete disregard, was seen using his mobile phone.
During the entire presidential speech which was telecast live by Lok Sabha TV and several other News channels, Rahul Gandhi was seen busy with his mobile phone several times.
The Congress president was sitting beside his mother Sonia Gandhi, and at least once Sonia Gandhi was seen asking him to be attentive. In another incident when Sonia Gandhi was thumping the desk along with other MPs when the president mentioned the surgical strikes, Rahul Gandhi didn’t do it, and it seemed that he was trying to stop his mother from doing so.
However, this kind of idiosyncrasy is nothing new for the ‘entitled prince’, who has shown similar disregard for the supreme legislative body in the past too.
Rahul Gandhi’s ‘infamous winks’ during the parliament sessions have attracted severe criticisms and mockery in the past.
Recently, after a much long drawn drama over his resignation for the post of the party President, Rahul was back to his old shenanigans. In his first appearance in the Parliament after Modi led government resumed office, throwing out the grand old party in the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul was once again caught winking.
This was, however, not his first time. Be it during the Rafale debate in January 2019 or July 20, last year, during the no-confidence motion against the Modi government, Rahul has not left a single opportunity to attract peoples attention by performing similar bizarre stunts.
In February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the 16th Lok Sabha had recounted various antics Rahul had done over the last five years.
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi’s bizarre hug-and-wink drama, PM Modi said, “Pehli baar is sadan mein aane par hi mujhe pata chala ki gale milna aur gale padna mein kya antar hota hai.” [First time after coming to the Parliament, I got to know the difference between ‘gale lagna‘ (hugging) and ‘gale padna‘ (throw oneself on).] He further added, “Is sadan mein pehli baar aankhon ki gustakhiyan wala khel bhi hua” (For the first time, this Parliament saw the ‘aankhon ki gustakhiyan’ scenes being played live too.)
Nevertheless, Rahul’s buffoonery is not limited to only his ‘hugs and winks’. Earlier, in 2016, Rahul Gandhi, who was the party vice-president then, was caught taking a ‘nap’ in Lok Sabha. Amid the heated debate between the BJP MPs and Opposition benches during the debate then, television cameras panned to show Rahul Gandhi sitting with his hands on his forehead seemingly disinterested in what as going around him.
Amusingly, his party had then jumped to his defence saying that the Congress scion was not sleeping, but was in “deep thoughts”.
This kind of disdain is not only limited to Rahul Gandhi. His party leaders, very much take examples for their chieftain. In January 2019, the Congress MP’s were audaciously seen flying paper planes in the Parliament. The then Lok Sabha speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, had interrupted and criticised the Congress MPs for their unseemly behaviour.